Scott wields veto pen on new budget

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- Seeking to end weeks of feuding and finger-pointing, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders agreed Friday to hold a three-day special session where legislators will boost money for schools and spend more on economic development efforts pushed by the governor. But House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, apparently won the biggest prize even though Scott avoided publicly confirming it: The governor's promise not to veto HB 7069, a monstrosity of more than 50 bills packaged together in secret that micromanages public school districts and favors privately run charter schools. The special session will focus on specific funding for public education, job growth and funding for the tourism department's Visit Florida - a source of contention in the past between the Governor and leaders of both chambers.

"Sometimes when you miss during a session you are there for 60 days it's high impact your in that bubble and when you miss, you miss narrowly, you miss by inches, " says Speaker Corcoran.

Negron said next week lawmakers will vote on a proposal to keep Visit Florida's funding at $76 million. "If we can not, I don't know that waiting a month or two is going to make a difference", he said.

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"The most important thing I can say is this puts Florida families in a good position", Scott said. Gov. Rick Scott said during a Friday news conference in Miami that he will sign the $83 billion state budget with vetoes that would slash funding to VISIT FLORIDA, Enterprise Florida and only provide a minor increase for public schools.

If he vetoes the K-12 budget, it would force lawmakers back into session and essentially open up the entire budget, as lawmakers would have to find additional funding for the schools. Scott said he aims to "increase the K-12 funding". The money in the new grant fund will not be allowed to be used that way. Scott called both essential pistons in Florida's economy.

In the public-school budget, Scott eliminated $14 million for "standard student attire" program, saying the initiative was "not a core education mission" for state. But absent newfound money, it is very unlikely that lawmakers will again pump up the budget with pet projects, knowing that Scott's veto pen is still unsheathed.

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Earlier Friday, hours before the veto list was published by Scott's office, Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho had expressed hope that Scott would leave the study alone.

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.

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