Published: Sun, June 04, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Governor Scott calls special session to rework Florida's budget

Governor Scott calls special session to rework Florida's budget

Gov. Rick Scott addressed the Florida delegation on Thursday during the Republican National Convention.

The special session will be held June 7-9 in Tallahassee.

The state funding reduction is forcing the agency, which can still raise money from private donors, to scale back its $8.5 million in marketing programs meant to make out-of-state and worldwide business leaders aware of Floridas business attributes.

In announcing the deal, Scott and Corcoran appear to have finally declared a truce after engaging in an intense war of words over the last few months, primarily over the issue of economic incentives. He is also requesting an additional $215 million to K-12 education than previously authorized. Initially legislators had voted to slash money for the tourism marketing agency by two-thirds.

The state will also set aside $85 million to help lure companies, but the money can not be used as incentive for a specific company.

The work at Daytona Beach International Airport was removed from the budget, as the proposal reportedly didn't follow the proper evaluation process for aviation projects.

The compromise also included a significant increase in per-student funding, from the $24 per student lawmakers had initially agreed to, to the $100-per-student Scott pushed for.

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Scott said he would be announcing his line item vetoes later on Friday.

The vetoes are not necessarily set in stone, as the Legislature will be drawing up what amounts to a new budget in those three days. Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, wants to defend his state university initiatives in the budget as well as a related policy bill (SB 374). "I listened closely to what they had to say, and I understand that both positions have merit".

In a memo, House Speaker Richard Corcoran tells his members he's ready to expand session to include a marijuana measure. "I think it's important we focus on the education system for all students in the state, and that's what I am going to do".

Lawmakers waited three weeks to send Governor Rick Scott the state budget.

Corcoran, who has been considering a run for governor next year, said he was "optimistic" that the governor would sign it.

Democrats are particularly opposed to HB 7069, which also has drawn criticism from many public education leaders and some top Republicans. Jeff Clemens, a Lake Worth Democrat, contended that Corcoran had reversed his position on economic development in order to get the education bill signed. The Legislature failed to pass a bill during its 60-day regular session that would implement a constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana. Corcoran said medical marijuana is not now on the list of special session issues, but that it could be added over the weekend.

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