Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Upsetting tea party, Scott allows energy bill to become law

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott disappointed tea party conservatives Friday by allowing a bipartisan energy proposal championed by Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to become law without his signature.

Scott was intensely lobbied to veto the bill by Americans for Prosperity-Florida, a tea party-backed group that orchestrated more than 5,000 calls and emails. The group believed the energy legislation, which includes $100 million in tax incentives over five years for companies that invest in alternative energy, would result in wasteful government spending.

In a nod to the group's concerns, Scott said he would call for the law's repeal if it failed to produce "significant cost savings for the state's taxpayers."

Putnam made the energy legislation a top priority. He said opponents' analogies between his bill (HB 7117) and Solyndra — the energy company that went bankrupt after receiving hundreds of millions from the federal government — are inaccurate. His measure rewards companies after they complete energy upgrades or add jobs, he said.

The bill also requires utility regulators to evaluate Florida's fuel mix into the future. It repealed Florida's renewable portfolio standard mandate, which was never enacted.

As tensions over what Scott would do escalated, supporters of the bill — including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida — responded with thousands of calls to Scott's office to refute tea party talking points.

Scott signed a slew of other bills late Friday, including one that allows the State Board of Administration to double its alternative investments and another pushed by Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that allows for the testing of self-driven vehicles on state roads.

He vetoed one bill Friday, HB 917, which deals with court jurisdiction. The measure, he said, would have allowed more out-of-state people and companies to use Florida's judicial system over some contract issues.

"Establishing Florida as a destination for lawsuits by entities outside of the state of Florida is unattractive for the business climate," he wrote in a veto letter. "Inviting additional civil litigation into Florida may add to the backlog of cases and increase the workload on our judicial system."

Times/Herald staff writer Mary Ellen Klas contributed to this report.

Upsetting tea party, Scott allows energy bill to become law 04/13/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 13, 2012 10:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]