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Amid Controversy, Bill Would Replace Regional Expressway Authority

February 17, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando--A bill that would replace the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority is scheduled to go before a state House subcommittee this week. The movement on the legislation follows controversy.

The bill from Republican Representative Bryan Nelson of Apopka would establish the Central Florida Expressway Authority.  Nelson says he proposed his bill last year but it went nowhere. He says the legislation is pragmatic: "When you look at Seminole County and Osceola County and Lake County, they funnel in or funnel out of the greater Orlando area, so we thought, you know, why not just put all our collective efforts together into one regional transportation authority?"

Earlier this month, former Republican Representative Steve Precourt turned down an offer to lead the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority.  He also wrote a letter criticizing the way his job offer was handled.

Meanwhile, State Attorney Jeff Ashton is investigating an allegation the Authority violated state law when ousting its former director.  

Nelson says none of that has any bearing on his bill.  “We in the legislature, you got what’s in your silo, so we kind of work within that silo," he says.  "Until you get it agenda-d and then start talking to members on that committee to say, hey, does this address that issue…”

Asked if lawmakers have been discussing what happened to their former colleague, Nelson gives a definitive, “no.”


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