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Florida Legislators Want $1.3 M Budget Cuts To Office Of Prosecutor That Rejected Death Penalty

Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala.
Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

State lawmakers are proposing to cut the budget for Orange and Osceola State Attorney’s office by $1.3 million and twenty-one positions.

Republican Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood is steering the effort as part of the House Judiciary Appropriations Subcommittee, which released a draft of the budget on Monday.

“We thought that if she’s not going to do part of her job, basically, that we would withhold some of that money pending on what the governor does and so forth,” Plakon said in a phone interview.

He is proposing that the money be on reserve for other circuits that could end up taking on death penalty cases.

Initial recommendations also considered across-the-board budget cuts to all twenty of Florida’s judicial circuits.

If approved, the budget cut would kick in on July 1st.

In a written statement, state attorney Ayala said Governor Rick Scott’s move to reassign a death-penalty eligible case to another state attorney was “dangerous and threatens the integrity of Florida’s judicial system. ”

On Tuesday, a ninth circuit judge ruled that Ocala-based state attorney Brad King, to whom Gov. Scott reassigned the Markeith Loyd case, would stay on the case.

Loyd is charged in the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon and Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton.

Scott reassigned the case to King after Ayala denied his request that she recuse herself.

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