Florida government, legislative leaders work out budget deal

Cheryl Sanders
June 2, 2017

The deal is expected to boost funding for public schools by $200 million, increasing per-student funding from about $24 to $100.

The announcement also comes as Governor Scott is at odds with state lawmakers over funding for the state's tourism arm, VISIT Florida, and the job creation branch, Enterprise Florida.

Corcoran has been adamant that Enterprise Florida money can not go toward business incentives - money directed to specific companies for creating jobs in the state.

All of that would be funded by more than $300 million in vetoes of member projects tucked into the state budget passed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate in early May.

He added: "Like the Legislature, I strongly believe in transparency, accountability and a strong return on investment for any taxpayer dollars used. Regardless of what else happened, the governor was going to be vigorous in his vetoes".

Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton. "With the increase funds to K-12, that really takes a lot of the concern away from the opponents" of HB 7069, a charter-school-friendly $419 million schools bill that was a Corcoran priority.

"The governor's history on choice is pretty clear", Corcoran said.

“I dont think we should be spending what NY is spending or California, and I dont think we should be offering $100 million (incentive deals) or whatever people do. Still, the issue incited a groundswell of criticism and opposition from parents and teacher groups. Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, wants to defend his state university initiatives in the budget as well as a related policy bill (SB 374).

The session will include proposed legislation dealing with public education, Enterprise Florida, VISIT Florida and medical marijuana, according to a Capitol source.

On May 9, a day after the budget was approved by the House and Senate, Scott told reporters in Panama City that Florida wont be in the “game for economic development” because of cuts to Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. "Thanks to the governor's involvement, we are able to prevail on these positions".

If Scott vetoes the budget, or the education section, it would trigger the need for a special session.

Lawmakers passed an $82.4 billion budget on May 8, but Scott was angered by issues such as a lack of money for economic-development programs and a lack of money for public schools. Lawmakers will work to find a middle ground during next week's special session.

Other reports by iNewsToday