Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gov. Rick Scott signs record $82 billion budget in speedy fashion

TALLAHASSEE — Without fanfare, Gov. Rick Scott said late Thursday he has signed a record $82 billion budget for next fiscal year, keeping intact $256.1 million in line-item vetoes that he foreshadowed earlier this week.

John Tupps, deputy communications director in Scott's office, announced the governor's actions in an email shortly after 8 p.m., with no immediate accompanying statement from Scott.

On Tuesday, in a highly unusual move, Scott released a pre-emptive list of planned vetoes and said, "I will be signing this budget into law as soon as the Florida Legislature delivers it to me." He did just that, with his signature coming the same day the budget reached his desk.

The governor's speedy signing prevented interest groups or individual lawmakers from mounting pressure on the governor to reverse himself on any planned vetoes.

The veto list was far less extensive than lawmakers had feared, widely viewed as a signal by Scott that he didn't want to stir any more dissent within the Capitol. Scott and his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature have had a shaky relationship stretching back to the last session.

This year, however, even after Scott's priorities for job incentive funds and tax cuts were rejected or marginalized by the Legislature, the governor showed little evidence of retribution.

Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, said on Tuesday Scott was sending "an olive branch" by the more modest veto list. But Diaz added that it was no coincidence that Scott's vetoes totaled $256 million, very close to a $250 million fund for Scott to lure jobs to Florida that lawmakers rejected.

Scott's string of vetoes includes after-school mentoring and youth crime-prevention programs, family counseling and inmate re-entry efforts, a new jail in De Soto County, a new roof for North Lauderdale City Hall and a cattlemen's arena in Hardee County.

Among projects left intact was $17 million for relocating USF's Morsani College of Medicine to downtown Tampa.

Gov. Rick Scott signs record $82 billion budget in speedy fashion 03/17/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2016 11:29am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 5 things to do under $5: Wiener dog racing, Streetcar Festival, Clearwater chalk art, Dia De Los Muertos

    Events

    1Wienerfest: They had us at wiener dog racing. This day devoted to dachshunds features racing, a dog costume contest, food trucks, photo booth and raffles at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Saturday. Leashed dogs of all breeds welcome. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Free admission. (407) …

    An entry in the costume contest from 2015's annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta, or Day of the Dead Festival, hosted by Casa Tina's Mexican Restaurant.
photo courtesy Mikell Herrick
  2. Locale Market changes yet again, rebranding the restaurant as FarmTable Cucina

    Food & Dining

    When Locale Market opened in Sundial St. Pete in Dec. 2014, it was the most-hyped, most-anticipated gourmet market/food hall/culinary playground Tampa Bay had ever seen. Since then, celebrity chef-owner Michael Mina has done what every entrepreneur does in the face of challenges: tinker.

    Chef Michael Mina and chef Jeffrey Hileman work in the kitchen at Farmtable Kitchen in 2016. EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
  3. Look for Tampa Bay filmmaker Joe Davison on 'Stranger Things'

    Human Interest

    For a year, Joe Davison kept a secret he wanted to tell so badly he feared it would burst from his mouth like an alien baby from John Hurt's chest.

    Joe Davison, at home in his dining room in Seminole, decked out for Halloween with “Stranger Things” decor, will appear in Season 2 of “Stranger Things.”
  4. Brooksville council begins study of law enforcement options

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The City Council has jumped headlong into a discussion about the future of the Brooksville Police Department — specifically whether to maintain it as is or change the way law enforcement service is provided in an effort to relieve the city's budget woes.

    Brooksville Mayor Robert Battista suggested that the City Council agree to promise residents that neither the city police nor fire departments would be disbanded without a voter referendum.
  5. U.S. home construction tumbles 4.7 percent in September

    Working Life

    WASHINGTON — Construction of new homes fell 4.7 percent in September, the biggest decline in six months, reflecting weakness in both single-family activity and apartment building.

    Construction of new homes fell 4.7 percent in September, the biggest decline in six months, reflecting weakness in both single-family activity and apartment building.  [Associated Press file photo]