And legislative leaders work out budget deal

Miami-Dade prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle wants Gov. Rick Scott to veto a sweep of a state attorneys fund

Almost month after they went home following the conclusion of the 2017 Legislative session, members of both the Florida House and Senate will be returning to Tallahassee for a three day special session. During that special session, lawmakers will add over $100 million combined into the budgets of Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, two of Scott's top priorities.

State college advocates are also asking Scott to veto their $1.2 billion portion of the budget, with the hope it would force lawmakers to restore a $30 million cut in remedial-education funding for the 28-school system.

Lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a key sticking point - how many retail outlets the state's marijuana operators would be allowed to run - during the regular session that ended last month.

But ongoing negotiations may be in play that could increase the $16 million that lawmakers agreed to provide to Enterprise Florida for daily operations.

Along with rejecting Scotts request for business-incentive money, the budget would reduce the agencys funding for general operations from $23.5 million in the current year.

The work at Daytona Beach International Airport was removed from the budget, as the proposal reportedly didn't follow the proper evaluation process for aviation projects.

"We absolutely welcome the governor's veto" of the K-12 budget, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

Scott wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner that he vetoed the citrus canker money due to ongoing litigation.


“I think the Senates track record in supporting the governors priorities speaks for itself.

And although the new budget bill passed overwhelmingly, an override could be blocked by Senate Democrats, who control 15 of 39 now occupied seats and could use their leverage to increase spending on public schools. 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).

"Our attractive beaches were devastated by the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill", Scott said in a statement.

"Probably the only person that would know is me, since I'm the one who has told people", Scott said when asked if the bill is part of the budget deal.

Democrats are particularly opposed to HB 7069, which also has drawn criticism from many public education leaders and some top Republicans.

Miami-Dade's cost of living is so high that public school teachers struggle to afford to live here.

The three-day session does not right now include consideration of new rules for medical marijuana. Corcoran said medical marijuana is not now on the list of special session issues, but that it could be added over the weekend.

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