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Scott Vetoes 461 Million, says Policy, not Politics the Reason

June 23rd, 2015 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Rick Scott today signed what is a now 76.1 billion dollar budget, insuring the state keeps operating after July first, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, he cut almost half a billion in spending authorized by lawmakers.

No end of the state was safe from the Governor’s veto pen.

“I went through the budget saying…asking what’s a statewide priority” Governro Rick Scott told reporters.

Scott cut a million to rebuild the Escambia jail after an explosion. 750 thousand was cut from Hillsborough and Lee County efforts to keep the mentally ill out of jail. A project to help the homeless in Jacksonville lost 97 thousand. And Barney Bishop represents a prison reentry company that saw two projects totaling 750 thousand cut.

“It didn’t help, but these projects aren’t going to go away because of these vetoes” says Bishop.

The question is whether some of the cuts were political payback. 600 thousand fro training persons with disabilities died. Senate President Andy Gardiner has a son with Down Syndrome and he opposed Scott on health care expansion. Scott was asked point blank if he was getting even.

“Absolutely not. If you look at the budget, I went through it trying to find what was the best thing for our state” says Scott.

But 8 million for a trails project…a favorite of th Senate President is out.

Scott vetoed a downtown campus for the University of Central Florida, but left one in tampa for the University of South Florida. Andy Gardiner, the Senate President, is in central Florida.

Also gone was 15 million for a University of Central Florida downtown campus, but a nearly identical project in downtown tampa survived. The Difference says Scott was the process “It’s simple. One went through the Board of Governors process and one did not says Scott.”

The people who fight forest fires for the state each lost a 2 thousand dollar pay raise.

And so the list goes on for 85 pages.

In a release, the Senate President said the vetoes would result in “dreams being destroyed. As for the Governor, the Andy Gardiner said “his clear disregard for the public policy merits of many legislative initiatives underscores that today’s veto list is more about politics than sound fiscal policy,”

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