Florida budget deal trades cash for bad policy

Bill watch: Governor vetoes liquor bill

Numerous questions that hung over the $82.3 billion dollar spending plan were answered during a news conference in Miami where Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran announced a budget deal had been reached. Those issues will be a focus of a three-day special legislative session that will start Wednesday.

The session has been called after Scott signed the state budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which included him vetoing over $400 million in projects. But the fact that the Republican leaders of both chambers have reached a deal - after Corcoran staunchly opposed increasing Visit Florida's budget or even keeping it at the current level - is a strong indication of how the legislators might vote.

Senate President Joe Negron told The News Service of Florida he is aware of ongoing talks between Scott and Corcoran regarding a sweeping education bill - which contains a priority of the speaker - and Enterprise Florida.

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

The eight counties are also slated to get three-fourths of the remainder of the $2 billion the state is expected to receive for damages associated with the BP disaster, which dumped millions of gallons of oil less than 100 miles off the Florida coast.

"I think we have the outlines for a tremendous session, a productive session and one that will do great things for the state of Florida", said Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran. While the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors meets Friday at Florida State University, the board appears more likely to conduct conference calls later in the month - once Scott acts on the budget - to direct any changes.




Scott vetoed the Florida Educational Finance Program (FEFP) funding portions of the budget.

While VISIT FLORIDA's funding would increase under the new deal, the agency also would face tough transparency standards for its contracts, including legislative oversight for deals worth $750,000 or more.

"So what I have said is that I am reviewing 7069".

Lawmakers will return for special session next week to agree on a deal that would provide more funding for public schools and VISIT FLORIDA and creating a special incentive fund that supports all businesses. The money in the new grant fund will not be allowed to be used that way.

The governor's veto list is to be released later today.

A proposal for $750,000 for medical cannabis research at the Moffitt Cancer Center was snuffed as the money was tied to a failed effort (SB 406) by Legislators to carry out a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

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