Scott vetoes three bills, criticizes special districts' power grab
Gov. Rick Scott vetoed three bills today, criticizing special taxing districts that are supposed to govern drainage and water control issues for asking the Legislature to grant them more power.
Scott wrote three different letters to explain the vetos, but they all have this sentence in common: "Expanding the scope of authority of a water control district is not the most appropriate means for residents to receive the desired services and there are other avenues to which residents of the District may pursue."
These three measures are among 24 local bills that were approved by the Legislature, with most earning Scott's approval. Here is a break down of the three vetoes:
-House Bill 855, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Rooney, R-West Palm Beach. The bill allows the South Indian River Water Control District in Palm Beach County to construct recreational facilities on property it owns. Scott's letter says the special district would be providing services that residents already receive from other government agencies, creating duplication and increasing costs for residents.
-House Bill 1009, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach. The bill renames the Fellsmere Water Control District in Indian River the Fellsmere Improvement District and overhauls its authority. The bill drastically expands the district's power to include services normally handled by city or county agencies, the governor argued.
-House Bill 1281, sponsored by Rep. Matthew Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres. The bill gives the East County Water Control District in portions of Lee and Hendry counties to ability to install street lights and sidewalks. Scott said the bill would create double taxation for affected residents in Lee County.