Gov. Scott, Legislative Leaders Announce Special Session Next Week

Wade Massey
June 4, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that the Florida legislature will hold a special session next week to discuss several issues impacting the state.

Nor are Enterprise Florida officials publicly expressing hope that negotiations between Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O Lakes, will bolster the money available for the agency.

At the special session June 7-9, he said he will be asking the Legislature to add $100 per student in K-12 school funding, establish a new $85 million job growth grant program and increase funding to the state's tourism marketing arm to keep it at its current level. The governor is happy because legislative leaders agreed to spend more on tourism and embrace reworked economic incentives, his top priorities.

Corcoran, who did not immediately return a request for comment, wants to avoid a veto of a sweeping education bill (HB 7069) that he has made a priority.

Negron said next week lawmakers will vote on a proposal to keep Visit Florida's funding at $76 million. "I appreciate the fact that people fight for what they believe in and I think often what happens at the end of that discussion is that you end up with a good product", Scott said during the press conference.

A number of educational initiatives, from $1 million for Florida Gulf Coast University's academic and career attainment program to $1.05 million for Florida Atlantic University's Max Planck Scientific Fellowship Program, were removed from the budget as Scott said the schools could cover the costs through their state allocations.

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Corcoran pushed to abolish Enterprise Florida and eventually settled on eliminating funding for the agency, incensing Scott, who bills himself as the "jobs governor".

Scott signed the bulk of the Legislature's proposed budget Friday, vetoing the section dealing with per-pupil education funding.

Premiums earned by the companies on this year's list of Florida health insurance providers totaled $18.12 billion, an 18.05 percent increase from the total earned by the companies listed last year.

Lawmakers have tentatively scheduled a special session for mid to late June, in case there is a veto they can override.

Indeed, that support is reflected in the massive amount of input Scott's office has received from Floridians since May 8 urging him to sign or veto the bill. The $24 increase would have meant that per-student funding adjusted for inflation would have decreased. But absent newfound money, it is very unlikely that lawmakers will again pump up the budget with pet projects, knowing that Scott's veto pen is still unsheathed. "I'm still reviewing it".

Next week's special session will also be used to allow legislators to write the rules for implementing the medical marijuana constitutional amendment approved by voters in November.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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