Published: Oct 06, 2011 4:25 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - An appeals court is siding with the state in a dispute over a controversial contract to produce official driver's handbooks.
The fight arose after the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said it wouldn't renew the handbook contract with the National Safety Commission based near Jacksonville.
The commission's lawyers contended it could unilaterally choose to renew the contract which calls for the production of millions of handbooks given out for free in return for exclusive advertising rights.
The contract has been controversial because a NSC lobbyist was married to the former department director.
A Leon County judge sided with the company but the 1st District Court of Appeal on Thursday said the state had the right to end the contract.
The appeals court split 2-1 on the decision.

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