Budget Deal Reached; Lawmakers to Return to Tallahassee Next Week

Budget Deal Reached; Lawmakers to Return to Tallahassee Next Week

Budget Deal Reached; Lawmakers to Return to Tallahassee Next Week

Numerous questions that hung over the $82.3 billion dollar spending plan were answered during a news conference in Miami where Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran announced a budget deal had been reached. The three day session will start Wednesday June 7th and conclude on Friday June 9th.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is vetoing $410 million in projects from the new state budget.

Scott has been at odds with legislative leaders most of this year over deep cuts in funding to Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing board, and Enterprise Florida, which promotes economic development in the state.

Corcoran, who did not return a request for comment, wants to avoid a veto of a sweeping education bill (HB 7069) that he has made a priority.

"I appreciate the fact that people fight for what they believe in", he says about the political battle with Speaker Corcoran over Visit Florida funding.

But, if Scott, Corcoran and Negron now agree on keeping Visit Florida's funding at its current $76 million, where was that support during the legislative session?

The Republican governor, upset that legislators ignored many of his top priorities during the regular session that ended in May, warned he could veto a new state budget and force lawmakers back to the Capitol.

But while state leaders are patting themselves on the back for finding common ground, Mark Wilson of the Florida Chamber is a bit more circumspect.

Another $4.3 million, designated for the Thomas Varnadoe Forensic Center for Education and Research in Pasco County, was cut because the training center "should be under the management of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement", Scott wrote.

"I don't think we should be spending what NY is spending or California, and I don't think we should be offering $100 million (incentive deals) or whatever people do".

Scott unsuccessfully asked for $250 million a year ago for incentives, and this year his request was for $85 million to fund the Quick Action Closing Fund.

Advocates of traditional public education welcomed Gov. Rick Scott's demand on Friday that lawmakers redo the K-12 education budget for next year and boost it with $215 million in additional spending. Legislators will hold a special session next week where they are expected to increase the amount going to schools.

"The only person who would know is me", Scott told reporters. According to the Florida Independent Spirits Association President Rory Eggers, more than 1,000 letters were delivered to the Governor voicing concerns and asking him to veto the bill.

Lawmakers have yet to complete work to regulate the use of marijuana, which was approved by voters in a constitutional amendment that passed during the November election.

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