Florida House demands the removal of AG’s face on gas pump stickers
Florida House of Representatives lawmakers say the sticker with the face of the state agricultural commissioner, Nikki Fried, that promises the gas pump you use is safe from crooks, is nothing but self-promotion and a waste of your tax dollars.
The sticker is on thousands of gas pumps statewide and has some lawmakers making threats to cut off Fried’s Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ funding if they are not removed.
Fabris Georges and Sarah Vansant, both drivers, were shocked that the legislature is fighting over a sticker.
“I would’ve never thought,” Georges said.
“I’m kind of shocked that it would be something of an issue for them,” Vansant said. “There are bigger and worse other problems to be fighting over.”
Now, the Florida House said they would put a portion of the Dept. of Agriculture’s budget in reserves. Fried told WINK News that cutting of her department’s money could potentially jeopardize active criminal investigations and the handling of tens of thousands of consumer questions and complaints.
Republican Rep. Dane Eagle, the Florida House majority leader, said in a statement:
“The Florida House’s request that gas-pump stickers with personal photographs be removed is not new; this issue is over a year old and must be resolved. Inspection certificates or stickers should be used to provide assurance in consumer protection, not self-promotion. The Governor’s name appears in every elevator and on every diploma, but we do not see his picture on them. As elected officials, we are in service to the people of Florida; it is not about us.”
State lawmakers passed a law in 2019 that requires Fried to remove the stickers with her face on them. However, she argues it would be a waste of taxpayer money to change the labels without also inspecting the gas pumps as scheduled. That process takes around nine months.
“If a Republican would have won the seat and done the same thing,” Fried said, “we would not have this conversation.”