Thursday, November 15, 2018
Politics

Budget deal includes $200M more for schools, $165M for economic development

Gov. Rick Scott has agreed to sign the budget and a controversial House public education plan and come back in special session next week to inject more than $165 million into the governor’s top economic development priorities, as well as put about $200 million in additional funding for public schools.

The agreement, which will be announced at a 10 a.m. news conference at Miami International Airport, was finalized late Thursday night after several days of backstage negotiations mostly involving House Speaker Richard Corcoran, Scott and their top staff members.

Lawmakers have agreed to boost public school spending by $210 million, bringing the total increase in this year’s state budget to $100 per student, Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, told the Herald/Times. That’s still less than half as much as Scott and the Senate originally sought earlier this year to boost school funding but it’s a significant increase from the extra $24.49 per student that the Legislature had in its approved budget — which critics had described as "starvation-level."

They also will fund Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing program that was gutted in the Legislature’s original budget, at its current level of $76 million. And they will put $85 million into a new job-creation fund at the Department of Economic Opportunity, which would be used for infrastructure and other economic development costs, rather than to pay companies for bringing workers to Florida, which Corcoran has decried as "corporate welfare."

All of that would be funded by more than $300 million in vetoes of member projects tucked into the state budget passed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate in early May.

Full details here.

Comments
Florida students overseas skeptical their votes will count

Florida students overseas skeptical their votes will count

The process makes it tricky, strenuous and even expensive.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough to be a dumping ground for clay from Hardee County phosphate mine

Hillsborough to be a dumping ground for clay from Hardee County phosphate mine

Hillsborough County Commissioners on Wednesday voted 4-2 in favor of a controversial request by Mosaic to dump clay from its Ona Mine into the Four Corners Mine in southeast Hillsborough County.
Updated: 2 hours ago
A machine canít decide voter intent. In a manual recount, people must

A machine canít decide voter intent. In a manual recount, people must

Undervotes and overvotes in two statewide elections will test Florida's post-recount voting standards.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rick Scott appears in D.C. along with new GOP senators, despite the recount

Rick Scott appears in D.C. along with new GOP senators, despite the recount

Even though his Senate race is in the middle of a recount, the governor was with new senators.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Judge considers Bill Nelson lawsuit to count votes with faulty signatures

Judge considers Bill Nelson lawsuit to count votes with faulty signatures

Florida's system of verifying signatures on mail and provisional ballots is under intense legal scrutiny.
Updated: 11 hours ago
Florida officials flag a possible violation of elections law by state Democrats

Florida officials flag a possible violation of elections law by state Democrats

The forms listed the wrong due date for voters to fix issues with their mail-in ballots.
Published: 11/14/18
Rick Scott wins suit against Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections

Rick Scott wins suit against Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections

Election watchers will now be allowed to stand inside the physical area where machine recounts are taking place.
Published: 11/14/18
Palm Beach recount further behind after machine malfunction

Palm Beach recount further behind after machine malfunction

There's uncertainty about meeting the Thursday deadline for a machine recount.
Published: 11/14/18
Broward County confident it will make Florida recount deadline

Broward County confident it will make Florida recount deadline

After starting the recount way after other counties, Broward is now optimistic about finishing on time.
Published: 11/14/18
Bill Nelson sues for fax, email voting records from Bay County

Bill Nelson sues for fax, email voting records from Bay County

The Bay County Supervisor of Elections has said he accepted some ballots by fax and email.
Published: 11/14/18