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The Governor Vs. the Legislature

May 25th, 2010 by flanews

Governor Charlie Crist has all but declared war on the legislature; vetoing four priority pieces of legislation, promising to make significant cuts to the budget, and considering a special session House leaders don’t want. While the governor’s actions are causing turmoil in Tallahassee now, as Whitney Ray tells us, they may pay at the ballot box in November.

Once Governor Charlie Crist dropped the Republican Brand to run for US Senate as an Independent, the gloves came off. The party sold his portrait on eBay Crist began nixing priority bills sent to him by the GOP lead-legislature.

The governor has already vetoed four bills and more maybe in the works. A bill rushed through on the next to last day of session requiring injured workers to pay for their own prescriptions, then hope for a refund is in the governor’s crosshairs.

“I haven’t reached a final decision on it yet, but it seems to make it a little more awkward for people to get the medicine they need,” said Crist.

Crist is also leaning toward a veto on legislation requiring women in their first trimester to get an ultrasound before they have an abortion.

“I look forward to receiving it, and dealing with it,” said Crist.

But Crist isn’t holding all the aces. The ultrasound bill is legislative trap that will cost the governor votes no matter what action he takes…. And the House is refusing to go along with his calls for a special session to ban offshore oil drilling.

University of South Florida Political Scientist Susan MacManus says the governor’s battle with the legislature is intensified by the upcoming election.

“Politics between the legislature and the governor is always different when the governor is running for another office and that’s what we have in Florida,” said MacManus.

So far Crist’s decisions are paying off. By vetoing the controversial teacher tenure bill last month he gained the support of thousands of teachers, received a co-endorsement from the state’s largest teachers union, and was thanked on TV.

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