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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott's veto pen also axes five budget conforming bills

In addition to the record dollar amount of line item vetoes today, Gov. Rick Scott also vetoed five budget-related bills. They include:

SB 2118 -- Which would have raised court costs and fees for defendants found guilty or who plead guilty to pay for FDLE costs of a statewide crime lab and transfer contracting and oversight of private prisons from Department of Management Services to teh Department of Corrections. Scott said that was "contrary to my recommendation to consolidate state agency contracting" in DMS.

SB 2106 -- The bill repeats the action of another bill, SB 2156, which transfers the Florida Energy and  Climate Change Commission to the Department of Agriculture.

SB 1738 -- Which would have created an Agency for Enterprise Business Services with the Department of Management Services to streamline purchasing and procurement. Scott said in his veto letter that the new agency is duplicative and in conflict his new Agency for Enterprise Information Technology.

SB 2116 -- Would have allowed counties to set up organizations to solicit private donations to pay for additional guardian ad litem support.Scott said in his veto letter that the language was not considered in the Criminal Justice Committees in either chamber but as part of a budget conforming bill with "no direct link" to a budgetary issue. The language was also only sought by one -- Region 3 -- of the five regional conflict counsels who had an unnamed benefit whose "name and affiliation would only be divulged uon signature of the Governor, making it impossible to know whether there could be potential for conflict of interest.

HB 5305 -- Would have repealed the Correctional Medical Authority, preserving the ability of the state to supervise and monitor inmate head care through another level of government. The bill was barely passed on the last night of session and, afterwards was vigorously opposed by Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey and Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa.

Fasano said he called DOC Secretary Ed Buss on Tuesday urging him to appeal to the governor to veto the repeal of the Correctional Medical Association. Buss agreed, Fasano said, and the governor listened. "I was pleased to see he was able to keep it intact,'' Fasano said. "The last thing we need is another federal lawsuit that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars."

Fasano said the watchdog role of the agency is more important than ever now that legislators are moving forward with privatizing inmate medical and mental health. One problem: there is no funding in the budget for CMA. Fasano said Buss is committed to finding a way to keep the oversight board going.


[Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:29pm]


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