Special Session: Gov. Mum On Major Issues

Gov. Rick Scott

CHRIS URSO | Times Gov. Rick Scott

Most significantly, Scott vetoed the $100,000 appropriated for what would have amounted to a second county judge in Flagler for a year.

"We absolutely welcome the governor's veto" of the K-12 budget, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. Attorneys for the homeowners raised property-rights arguments in challenging the department's actions, and a judgment was entered in 2008.

The third focus Scott announced Friday was a $76 million increase in funding for Visit Florida.

But a full budget veto is a rare maneuver, last carried out by Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1992.

In explaining the veto, Scott said the entity that produces the Florida Price Level Index - which is used in the formula for funding K-12 public schools, the Florida Finance Education Program (FEFP) - already "periodically reviews the data.to ensure it is equitable statewide". The remainder of the funding for 67 school districts comes from local property taxes. He called for a special session and also played the "veto card" to the tune of more than $400-million dollars!

"Probably the only person that would know is me, since I'm the one who has told people", Scott said when asked if the bill is part of the budget deal. Scott argues that incentives are critical for job creation in the state. And that doesn't begin to describe the micromanaging in this legislative train wreck, from limiting testing windows to requiring tests on paper rather than computers to dictating 20 minutes of recess a day in elementary schools (but not in charter schools, of course).

Northwest Florida counties are going to finally get a share of money given to the state for damages related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Among state colleges, Scott vetoed $5 million for a Miami Dade College gym renovation and $4 million for a building renovation at St. Johns River State College.

Critics say the bill was brokered in secrecy during backroom meetings in the final days of the session and are calling on the governor to veto the legislation.

St. Leo University lost $4 million for a wellness center because the school had raised tuition by 3 percent.

In other fields, Scott and his staff found no statewide return on investment.

"These things will help us, one, increase more jobs in the state", Scott said. Instead, it will be spent on workforce training as well as public works projects such as roads. Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana last November but a legislative fight over who should be allowed to sell it derailed an effort to pass a bill during this year's regular session.

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