Former state senator and attorney general candidate, Dan Gelber, has penned a letter to Gov. Rick Scott suggesting that is his duty to veto the state budget if it fails to include, as expected, any expansion of Medicaid and fails to "adequately fund the salaries of Florida's teachers."
The letter from Gelber, a Miami attorney and advisor to former Gov. Charlie Crist, reads like the potential talking points of a Crist candidacy. Crist, a former Republican turned Democrat, continues to indicate he is exploring a potential challenge to Scott in 2014.
"I urge you to inform the Florida Legislature that you intend to veto the 2013-2014 General Appropriations Act if the budget fails to expand Medicaid, and does not adequately fund the salaries of Florida's teachers,'' Gelber wrote in the letter sent today.
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Scott told reporters later that he hasn't made a decision on what to do with the budget yet.
"I'm going to wait and see what happens with regard to the budget," he said Thursday. "I'll make a decision after that. I'll review it."
He hinted, however, that he's reviewing the budget carefully, noting a high number of member projects in the budget. "I want to make sure that we spend the money well." Gelber said that if the Legislature adjourns without implementing a plan to draw down the federal money from the Affordable Care Act, they will be "leaving nearly one million low-income Floridians without even the prospect of health insurance. Not only is it inhuman to leave so many - including so many children -- without the health care safety net enjoyed by you and every legislator, but it also means Florida willnot begin to receive the $51 billion that comes with this health care expansion."
He also called Scott's push for a $2,500 across the board raises for Florida teachers, "at least a start" and the legislature's decision "to index the limited funds that are being made available to a faulty merit-pay proposa is offensive."
He concluded that it is Scott's "Constitutional prerogative and, in fact, your duty to veto the 2013 Florida Budget.teacher salaries in Florida.''
Game on? Download Gelber's letter to Scott