Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gov. Scott signs school lunch transfer bill

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott granted Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam his biggest wish of the legislative session Thursday when he approved a transfer of school food and nutrition programs from the Department of Education to Putnam's agency.

"Obviously we're thrilled that the governor has … embraced our vision for improving the quality of what our kids eat in the school system," Putnam said.

Putnam had insisted since his campaign that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services could provide more nutritious meals for students thanks to its connections with farmers and partnerships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Putnam said the governor called him this week and grilled him on the plan before saying he would sign SB 1312.

"It's bold, and the governor, I think, correctly put us through our paces to answer the questions," Putnam said. "A guy with a hospital background certainly understands how healthier lifestyles save society over the long haul in managing chronic illnesses that are frequently obesity related."

The transfer is effective Jan. 1, pending approval from the Agriculture Department, which gave $810 million to Florida's school food and nutrition programs this year. Putnam's request to run the programs outside of the Education Department will mirror applications from Texas and New Jersey, the only states with that arrangement.

In addition to signing SB 1312, Scott approved reforms to "crashworthiness" cases (SB 142) and new restrictions on local governments (SB 1128). The restrictions prevent them from including more than 300 hours of overtime when calculating an employee's pension plan and may not include payments for unused sick leave or annual leave.

Scott issued his sixth veto by rejecting a unanimously passed bill (SB 1992) that would have eased background screening requirements for some volunteers caring for seniors, such as relatives and law enforcement. Lawmakers wanted to relieve volunteers for programs like Meals on Wheels of paying $44 per screening.

In a veto message, Scott said exempting certain volunteers who work with vulnerable Floridians from background screenings is "a risk that is not worth taking."

Times/Herald staff writers Mary Ellen Klas and Michael Bender contributed to this report.

Gov. Scott signs school lunch transfer bill 06/23/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 23, 2011 9:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: No more VinikVille as Water Street Tampa finally arrives

    Business

    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
  2. Finally, Jeff Vinik's vision has a name: Water Street Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — For years, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and the real estate executives he employs have been dreaming how to transform 53 acres of downtown Tampa into a major hub of living, working and entertaining in the city's core.

    Strategic Property Partners announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. This rendering shows the Tampa skyline with SPP's future buildings in place. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  3. Future, Ruff Ryders reunion tour coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

    Blogs

    Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre is in the midst of a killer summer of rock (Green Day, Muse, Linkin Park) and country (Sam Hunt, Lady Antebelleum, Dierks Bentley).

    Future
  4. Rubio remains noncommital on Obamacare replacement but a likely yes vote

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio has been bombarded with phone calls, emails and on Monday, protests took place outside his offices in Doral and Palm Beach Gardens. But while the effort is most unlikely to dissuade the Florida Republican from voting for the Obamacare replacement -- if it even comes up for a vote this week -- he remains …

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks at an event in Miami, Friday, June 16, 2017, where President Donald Trump announced a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of U.S. cash to the country's military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations.
  5. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.