Can Gov. Rick Scott veto tuition increase?
Even though the Legislature included a 3-percent tuition increase in the budget, university leaders are expecting Gov. Rick Scott to veto it. Former Gov. Charlie Crist did the same thing in 2007. Although some questioned the legality of Crist's actions, Scott's general counsel says it set a precedent that puts Scott on solid ground if he does the same this year.
An excerpt from the story to be published in Friday's paper:
To veto the tuition increase, the governor will have to alter budget language that tells universities how much they will charge students per credit hour. Because he isn't removing an actual line item of the budget, some have argued that Scott can't legally veto tuition increases.
In 2007, then-Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a 5 percent tuition increase that lawmakers put in the budget. The same questions were raised then, but no one challenged him.
Scott's general counsel, Pete Antonacci, said he believes the governor has the legal authority to veto the tuition increase language because Crist did it already.
"Look, anything is subject to the veto pen," Antonacci said. "In this case, Charlie Crist did it, so there's precedent. It's what lawyers like: the fact that somebody did it before. So I think it's doable."