Florida Gov. and legislative leaders work out budget deal

Credit DXR via wikimedia commons
Credit DXR via wikimedia commons

03 June, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers have agreed to a broad deal settling a long list of disagreements over the state budget, including more money for schools and funding for the governor's top priorities of economic development and tourism marketing.

Scott will call lawmakers back to Tallahassee in a special session, tentatively set for next week, June 7-9.

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

In return, Scott is expected to sign a controversial education bill, HB 7069, that is Corcoran's top priority.

As recently as an hour before the announcement, key lawmakers were unaware of the details of the deal, which restores some priorities of Scott and Senate President Joe Negron that didn't make it through the regular session. The call, issued by Scott on Friday morning, calls on lawmakers to tackle issues relating to funding for public education, Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.

Legislative leaders said they may add medical-marijuana legislation to the special session agenda, if they can resolve differences over the number of dispensaries that would be allowed to distribute the drugs. House Republicans were adamant that the money could not be used on incentives to lure new businesses to the region.

Along with rejecting Scotts request for business-incentive money, the budget would reduce the agencys funding for general operations from $23.5 million in the current year.

More news: ASUS debuts first Ryzen-based gaming notebook

Corcoran had resisted funding economic incentives, deriding them as "corporate welfare". 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. The education bill, which is opposed by groups such as the Florida School Boards Association and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, includes money for items such as a charter-school expansion and pay bonuses for teachers and principals.

Negron said next week lawmakers will vote on a proposal to keep Visit Florida's funding at $76 million.

Corcoran also sought to slash funding for Enterprise Florida's operating budget from $23.5 million to $16 million and eliminate 21 corporate incentive programs.

"I think we have the outlines for a tremendous session, a productive session and one that will do great things for the state of Florida", said Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

Scott, who chairs the Enterprise Florida board, has expressed anger with the funding package but hasnt indicated if hell sign the $82.4 billion budget before a June 15 deadline or detailed the extent of potential vetoes.

The deal was forged through private conversations over the last few weeks after the regular session ended in early May.

"The whole focus will be how to get more jobs in the state", Scott said. Otherwise, regulation would be left up to the Florida Department of Health. The bill, HB 7069, hasn't yet been sent to Scott's desk.

More news

  • Senate to hear from Comey; Dems raise new Session questions

    A White House spokesperson would not comment Thursday about whether a claim of executive privilege will be sought. The staffer said the Democrats were informed that the unmasking subpoenas were being issued.
    No surprise: It's Cavs-Warriors in the NBA Finals yet again

    No surprise: It's Cavs-Warriors in the NBA Finals yet again

    According to ESPN Stats & Information, James will enter the Finals as an underdog for the sixth time in eight career appearances. But Boston players acknowledged there is still work to be done to catch the Cavaliers .
    Reformists sweep Tehran municipal vote as Rouhani wins Iran

    Reformists sweep Tehran municipal vote as Rouhani wins Iran

    He called Trump's meeting with Saudi leaders "just a show" and declared it would not "have any political and practical value". Unlike in the U.S., Iran's president is a political figurehead with very limited powers and responsibilities.
  • Two bounty hunters, Minnesota fugitive killed in shoot out

    Two bounty hunters, Minnesota fugitive killed in shoot out

    Minnesota bounty hunters tracked Hutchinson to Texas and called in Corpus Christi based Fidel Garcia Jr.to track him. Twenty shots were fired in about six seconds, according to a statement from Kathy Lucas, a spokeswoman for the city.
    Armed man arrested by police at Phoenix Comicon convention

    Armed man arrested by police at Phoenix Comicon convention

    Police say Sterling was armed with a shotgun, three handguns and knives, as well as ammunition and "other handheld weapons". Of course, Phoenix Comicon organizers and police say the policy is not about ruining fun, but prudence.

    Disagreements surface over China-backed trade deal

    Nearly all the other 20 members of APEC had requested bilateral meetings, United States officials said. The RCEP and TPP trade deals are not mutually exclusive, and some nations would be members of both.
  • World leaders reaffirm commitment to fighting climate change

    Musk said on Twitter that he had done all he could to advise the White House on the deal that was signed in 2016 by 195 countries. Any delay in U.S. efforts to halt greenhouse gas emissions could cost the country and the world in the long term, scientists say.

    White House to stop taking questions related to Russian Federation probe

    The Secret Service says it has charged a person who attempted to jump over a bike rack barricade near the White House. Bierbauer noted: "There is no convention as to how long a briefing should last, nor that it should start on time".

    Stokes hits risky century in England's 330-6 v South Africa

    Stokes has recently returned from the Indian Premier League, where he was crowned the most valuable player at the competition. That became 10 off 10 balls when David Miller (71 not out) struck Jake Ball for a six and a four off successive deliveries.
  • Trump Signs Waiver to Keep Embassy in Tel Aviv

    Trump has made brokering peace between Israel and Palestine among the top priorities of his administration's foreign policy. He signed a waiver Thursday to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for the time being.
    Over 115 Firefighters Battle 'Major Emergency' Brentwood Brush Fire

    Over 115 Firefighters Battle 'Major Emergency' Brentwood Brush Fire

    One family told firefighters they had evacuated from their home so quickly that they had left food cooking on a stove. Traffic was snarled at the bottom of the canyon, and only emergency vehicles were allowed north of there.
    Graco to recall 25000 child car seats

    Graco to recall 25000 child car seats

    Graco has recalled more than 25,000 vehicle seats because of an issue with the strength of their safety harnesses. The model numbers affected are: 1871689, 1908152, 1813074, 1872691, 1853478, 1877535, 1813015, and 1794334.