Scott, legislative leaders announce special session

Scott, legislative leaders announce special session

Enterprise Florida's board of directors are trying to accentuate the positives at their meeting in Tallahassee this week.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, joined by Florida Senate Joe Negron and Florida House of Representatives Richard Corcoran are set to make a major announcement Friday morning.

Legislators had agreed to pay the money to compensate residents in a class-action suit who had lost orange, grapefruit and other citrus trees as part of a Florida Department of Agriculture program to stop the spread of deadly citrus-canker disease. "I appreciate the fact that people fight for what they believe in and I think often what happens at the end of that discussion is that you end up with a good product", Scott said during the press conference. "I can veto it".

And he vetoed $50,000 earmarked for the long-dragging Bunnell-bypass project that would open a highway on the east side of town, from Commerce Parkway's intersection with State Road 100 (at the Wendy's) to US 1 at the south end of town. From the vantage point of the Senate, we have been supportive of the governor having the ability to compete for new employers to come to Florida as long as its done in a transparent and reasonable way, ” said Negron, R-Stuart, pointing out that the Senate funded Scotts budget requests for Enterprise Florida and tourism marketer Visit Florida.

It hasn't been a great year so far for Enterprise Florida. The budget approved in May only increased student funding by $24 more.

The budget outcome is complicated by a series of related bills, which are not yet in the governor's possession. The $85 million that will go to Enterprise Florida will be placed in the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund which will be created to promote the state's infrastructure and job training.

A veto of the entire budget is not unheard of. That part also includes $239 million that greatly expands a teacher bonus program known as the Best and Brightest Scholarship. Both times lawmakers tried, but failed, to override their vetoes.

Critics say the proposed education funding ramps up spending on charter schools at the expense of public schools.

The catch, though, is that all three must also convince Florida lawmakers in a special session next week to vote to maintain the organization's funding level.

A K-12 budget veto last occurred in 1983, and then-Gov. "The first will be increasing the funding for FEFP".

The complex deal struck behind closed doors between the governor and top leaders in both houses basically has Scott line-item vetoing about $400 million in projects. That money will be used to fund Scott's priorities. The budget passed by the Legislature would give VISIT FLORIDA $25 million, which is $51 million less than what it received in this year's budget.

Scott late Friday signed a new state budget into law, but not before he vetoed almost $12 billion. The new budget, with its reductions, would take effect on July 1.

The governor will get his main priority: funding for economic incentives and tourism promotion.

- LET'S MAKE A DEAL: Not surprisingly, lawmakers and Scott are already negotiating on a way to bring the 2017-18 budget in for a landing.


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