Florida Gov. Rick Scott couldn't help but bring up the sale of the two state airplanes during his first State of the State speech on March 8, 2011.
Scott told a joint session of the Legislature that, "We ... sold the state airplanes as I had promised."
On that, there's no question.
On Feb. 11, Scott authorized the sale of two state airplanes to out-of-state buyers.
Scott "directed the Department of Management Services to accept two bids that were revealed earlier this week," according to a press release. "This sale of two state-owned airplanes will net the state of Florida more than $560,000 in savings this fiscal year, and it will eliminate the annual operating and leasing costs of $2.4 million per year.
"Burdening taxpayers with these ongoing expenses is irresponsible and not a core function for government to meet the state's critical needs," Scott said.
The planes are a 2000 King Air 350 and a 2003 Cessna Citation Bravo. The St. Petersburg Times described the buyers on Feb. 12: A Mexican-American oil-field services firm, Transportes Internacionales Tamaulipecos, bid $1.9 million for the Cessna jet, and the nine-passenger King Air prop plane brought a bid of $1.77 million from JNC Aircraft Sales of Washington, D.C.
Now, the only question is whether those sales were legal.
Powerful Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander has questioned the sale of the planes, saying they first needed the consent of the Legislature. You can read the specifics of Alexander's claim here.
But on the merits of Scott's claim, he's right. The planes are long gone. We rate this statement True.