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Gov. Rick Scott, Legislature agree to hold special session next week

04 June, 2017, 06:41 | Author: Melody Ballard
  • Bill watch: Governor vetoes liquor bill

An announcement is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Miami International Airport.

The special session will begin Wednesday and conclude Friday.

This year's proposed budget cut funding for the economic and tourism development agencies Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, but the Governor is now vetoing that move, increasing that funding to $76 million.

Scott, chairman of the Enterprise Florida board, has expressed anger with the funding package but hasn't indicated if he'll sign the $82.4 billion budget before a June 15 deadline or detailed the extent of potential vetoes.

But ongoing negotiations may be in play that could increase the $16 million that lawmakers agreed to provide to Enterprise Florida for daily operations. Initially legislators had voted to slash money for the tourism marketing agency by two-thirds. House Republicans were adamant that the money could not be used on incentives to lure new businesses to the region. Instead it will be spent on workforce training as well as public works projects.

"The people of Florida should be proud today that you can have leaders with competing opinions and still compromise to meet common goals-government in Florida is working and the biggest winners are all Floridians", said Corcoran. The new money should get that increase up to $100 per student, which is particularly welcome in a state that lags well below the national average.

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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. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, wants the bill with charter schools (HB 7069) to become law while still opposing economic incentives and supporting a reduced tourism-promotion budget. In large part due to the fact that the spending plan sidelines the Governors major priorities. The governor had traveled the state, bashing Corcoran and lawmakers who supported his position on incentives.

The governor, however, refused to say whether or not the deal reached with legislators is contingent on him approving a sweeping education bill that was put together secretly in the waning days of the regular session.

"This bill will not help our students, our teachers, our school employees or our public schools".

The three-day session does not right now include consideration of new rules for medical marijuana.

Sen. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who is slated to take over as president of the Senate late next year, told The News Service of Florida that lawmakers have yet to strike a deal on implementation of the medical marijuana amendment.

Corcoran, in a memo to House members, said the item could still be added to next week's session agenda if a deal is worked out.

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