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 It repealed Florida's renewable portfolio standard mandate, which was never enacted.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. Before Janessa Shannon's death, parents traded accusations of abuse


    TAMPA — Long before Janessa Shannon's remains were discovered in a Hillsborough County nature preserve, her parents tried to convince court officials that she was in danger.

    From her own family.

    Janessa Shannon, 13, was found dead July 12 in the Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Hillsborough County. [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]
  2. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  3. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017


    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  4. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.