In a surprise press conference with House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced he will veto the education funding portion (FEFP) of the Legislature's recently adopted budget.
Scott said he would ask lawmakers in a special session, scheduled for June 7-9, to increase per-student funding by $100 -- a major increase over the $24.49 in the current version. That level had caused concern among school district leaders.
Negron said he appreciated the House leadership's willingness to move in the Senate and governor's direction on education funding. The House was unwilling to consider leaving local property tax rates alone and letting districts reap the benefits of increasing values, as the Senate and Scott proposed.
That issue created the biggest gap in revenue between the budgets, and could be on the table.
Scott did not signal his plans for conforming bill HB 7069, which has become a flash point for education advocates of all stripes. Scott has not yet received the bill for his action.
"We're still reviewing 7069," Scott said. "I'm going to make sure whatever we do is good for all students."
Bill supporters read that as good news, suggesting they might get what they want if the per-student funding rises as Scott requested. But so, too, did opponents, who saw a delay as making a bad bill even less easy to implement if it comes to pass.
Stay tuned to tampabay.com for more news and reactions on this breaking story.