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Funding for Justice Coalition put on the "Turkey Watch Report"

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Updated: 5/19/2013 11:56 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This year, Florida TaxWatch's "Turkey Watch Report" list includes a $100,000 funding project for the Justice Coalition.

The group singled out $106.8 million of the state budget they believe should be canceled to save tax payer money.

According to State Senator, Audrey Gibson, the Justice Coalition has a profound impact on the lives of victims of violent crime in Duval County and the money they need won't go to waste.

"My thing to TaxWatch is what about the return on investment particularly as it relates to the Justice Coalition who helps victims and they also help police," said Audrey Gibson, State Senator District 9.

According to Florida TaxWatch, the Justice Coalition was included in this year's list because the funding project was introduced late in the budget process. The group claims the distinction of "turkey" has nothing to do with a project's worthiness.

Gibson and other legislators take issue wih the way the group puts together the list.

"They're trying to play it as if it's something that somehow escaped public scrutiny, well it did not," said Gibson.

In a statement to Action News, the executive director of the Justice Coalition, Ann Dugger says "the Justice Coalition provides crucial victim advocacy services in the criminal justice system for innocent victims of violent crime. This budget authorization for funding would allow the Justice Coalition to provide more for victims and we hope to have the opportunity."

It's now up to Governor Rick Scott to make a decision on whether or not to veto the project. He has until next Friday to sign the state budget.
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