Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Scott vetoes four budget-related bills, including hurricane catastrophe fund proposal

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott vetoed four budget-related measures Friday, including one designed to shore up the state hurricane catastrophe fund by selling tax credits to insurance companies.

The so-called Florida Insurance Tax Pre-Payment Program was pushed by banking industry lobbyists and was one of the last budgetary maneuvers by Senate Budget Chairman JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales.

But Scott opposed the last-minute maneuvering.

"The language was not fully vetted through the committee process and emerged late in the budget conference," Scott said in a veto message.

Alexander has said that the pre-payment program was suggested by banks, but that even if the bill became law, it would have required approval of Scott and the Cabinet.

With the CAT fund facing a $3 billion deficit and Florida headed into another hurricane season, Alexander said it made sense for banks and insurers to receive up to $1.5 billion in tax credits over a 10-year period by paying their state premium taxes ahead of time.

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, one of three senators who voted against the bill (HB 5505), praised Scott's action.

"I believe this would have been another bailout for the private companies," Fasano said.

Scott also vetoed a bill that would have created "GatorCare," by allowing the University of Florida to implement its own health insurance program. The governor said he vetoed the bill (HB 5009) because its financial impact on the state employees' health care program had not been fully analyzed.

Scott vetoed a bill (HB 5011) creating a new 16-member state technology office under his control and eliminating current plans for a statewide email system. He said the bill "creates an inflexible and ineffective landscape" and would have limited innovation.

He also vetoed a bill making major changes to programs to prepare children for school. Scott said the bill (HB 5013) could jeopardize some federal funds for early learning programs and would have jeopardized funding that helps Florida residents find jobs.

Among the bills Scott signed Friday was HB 5005, a bill that reduces contributions to the retirement accounts of more than 100,000 state workers who are enrolled in 401(k)-like investment plans as an alternative to the state pension fund.

Most employees affected by the reduced contributions work in law enforcement or higher education. They will now have less money in their retirement nest eggs.

In signing the bill, Scott said: "This legislation takes a positive step toward addressing the overall costs of the Florida Retirement System, making the overall retirement benefits more affordable for Florida's taxpayers."

Times/Herald staff writers Tia Mitchell and Toluse Olorunnipa contributed to this report. Steve Bousquet can be reached at bousquet@tampabay.com or (850) 224-7263.

Scott vetoes four budget-related bills, including hurricane catastrophe fund proposal 04/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 20, 2012 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico

    World

    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75

    Accidents

    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.