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"Doc' Thrasher delivers budget

Gov. Jeb Bush now has 15 days to decide what to keep and what to veto in the fiscal plan.

House Speaker John Thrasher arrived at Gov. Jeb Bush's office wearing a white doctor's coat and lugging the state's $51-billion budget under his arm.

Before officially presenting the budget to the governor Friday, Thrasher whipped off a stethoscope draped around his neck and placed it on Bush's chest.

"I thought I'd make a house call to make sure the governor has a heart," Thrasher quipped. "Hopefully he'll be a little more generous than he was last year on some things."

The lighthearted visit started the ticking of a clock.

Bush now has 15 days to decide what to keep and what to veto in the budget. The budget contains hundreds of millions of dollars in local projects _ sometimes called "turkeys" _ that lawmakers use to look good in the eyes of their constituents. Last year, Bush vetoed $313-million in turkeys.

"Is there a medical school in there?" Bush joked to Thrasher, referring to the $45-million new school the speaker won for his alma mater, Florida State University.

Bush already has signed off on Thrasher's pet project, along with two new law schools. But the fates of hundreds of other projects _ from new local parks to food banks _ await his veto pen.

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