Gov. Rick Scott signed 29 bills late Monday, including measures boosting spending on education, tourism marketing and economic development.
By signing the bills, and vetoing five more, Scott essentially closed the books on this year's regular and special legislative sessions.
The bills Scott approved included perhaps one of the hardest-fought wins of his time as governor: a measure (HB 1A) that provided $76 million for the tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida; established an $85 million fund to pay for infrastructure improvements and job training to help draw businesses; and set aside $50 million in repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike along Lake Okeechobee.
That legislation was approved in this month's special session, after the House refused to approve direct business incentives that Scott prefers and gave him far less for Visit Florida than he had requested during the regular session, which ended in May.
Scott also signed another bill from the special session (HB 3A) boosting per-student spending in the state's main formula for funding public education by $100. The budget for public schools had originally only increased spending by $24 a student.
Scott also signed several other education bills Monday, including a measure (HB 15) expanding eligibility for a program that helps pay for educational services for students with disabilities and boosting the size of voucher-like tax credit scholarships that help parents pay for private school tuition.
In addition, the governor approved HB 989, which overhauls the state's policy on instructional materials to allow any county resident — not just parents — to challenge materials used at schools.