One lawmaker has budget solution: Plunder Florida's treasure

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With the state desperate for cash to balance its budget, one lawmaker has come up with a solution worthy of Blackbeard or Captain Kidd.
Rep. Juan Zapata wants to plunder Florida's booty.

One of the world's largest publicly owned collections of Spanish treasure - doubloons and other coins, some gold and silver ingots and chains - belongs to the state.

"We have some interesting goodies in the closet," said the Miami Republican. "Why not have an interesting garage sale, put them out there and see what we can get for them?"

How much the state could reap, though, is uncertain, as lawmakers struggle with a budget that is $5 billion smaller than the previous one.

One expert says Florida's 1,600 gold and 22,000 silver coins are worth at least $17 million, but state officials say the collection is priceless.

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