Gov. Rick Scott on Monday sent out a chest-thumping news release about the high-speed rail money that was cut as part of the budget deal Friday night in Washington. "This weekend as Washington, D.C., insiders struggled to find billions to prevent a government shutdown, they found $1.5 billion worth of taxpayer money exactly where Governor Rick Scott left it: in the boondoggle high speed rail proposal," the release said. But the money left on the chopping block Friday is not part of the $2.4 billion that Scott rejected, but rather it was a part of additional budgeted appropriations. Florida's rail money is still set aside and about two dozen states have applied for those funds. PolitiFact Florida gave Scott a Full Flop on the Flip-O-Meter for his news release because Scott previously said he wanted the money for Florida — only for ports and highways, not high-speed rail. You can see the rating at PolitiFact.com/Florida.
Resolution request gets cold shoulder
Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Fort Lauderdale, wanted to recognize today as Birth Control Matters Day in the Florida House. Not happening, said House Rules Chairman Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral. "Chair Aubuchon has reviewed billdraft 36469, a resolution regarding Birth Control Matters Day," House Rules & Calendar Committee staff director Stephanie Birtman wrote. "Ceremonial Resolutions should express condolence, commendation, or commemoration and should not contain controversial policy statements. For this reason and pursuant to Rule 5.10(b), Chair Aubuchon does not approve the filing of this billdraft."
Nelson hints at campaign strategy
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson sent out a campaign e-mail over the weekend that gives an early look at the likely strategy of his impending re-election battle: to cast his opponents as "extremists" while portraying himself as part of a "common sense" approach to the nation's spending problem. The Democrat uses the extremist language several times in the e-mail, sent after a deal was reached on the budget Friday night. The compromise cuts deeply — about $38 billion from the current spending plan — but Nelson said it was a "step in the right direction." "I believe workable solutions can be reached only when reasonable people work together," Nelson wrote. "That now seems to be happening in the budget talks. We all agree the government has to live within its means. But to get compromise, we all have to give up some things we may have wanted."
Times staff writers Alex Leary and Aaron Sharockman contributed to this report.