1. Florida Politics

Hillsborough County mostly nipped by veto pen

Published May 20, 2013

Hillsborough County was spared wide-scale cuts when Gov. Rick Scott unveiled the work of his veto pen Monday, but it did take some hits.

The governor vetoed $2.5 million for a conservation and technology park in southern Hillsborough, the biggest hit locally. The project is a collaboration between the Florida Aquarium, Tampa Electric Co. and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"That will probably set them back a little," said County Commissioner Sandra Murman.

Hillsborough also lost $1.3 million that would have gone toward expanding a program that provides services to seniors that helps keep them out of nursing homes. Another $332,000 earmarked for the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance to promote internships and training in information technology also was axed.

Similar programs in Lee and Broward counties were whacked. The veto for Hillsborough's will not affect existing services to seniors, said Patty Klein, senior public relations specialist for Chapters Health System, which runs the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly program.

Other money for some of the county's entertainment attractions and for domestic security were spared.

That city of Tampa didn't see much in the way of cuts.

"That's because we didn't ask for much," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

The city lost $150,000 sought for a second phase of canal dredging for waterfront neighborhoods west of West Shore Boulevard. But another $125,000 for drainage improvements in the Carver City and Lincoln Gardens area was spared.