TALLAHASSEE — When they visit Florida, you pay.
In a little-noticed and long-standing tradition, the state of Florida provides security to dozens of politicians who visit the Sunshine State for business and personal trips, even though the visitors bring their own protection.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement spent nearly $300,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30 to pay for salaries, transportation, lodging and other costs related to 96 appearances by U.S. senators, members of Congress, senior White House officials and 38 governors. Among the visitors were California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York Gov. David Paterson, the first lady of Puerto Rico, the premier of Ontario and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
The FDLE calls it part of a reciprocal agreement with other states to guarantee the safety of high-profile leaders, and the agency says Florida politicians receive the same level of security when they’re on the road.
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