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Uncertainty looms over final days of Legislative session

May 4th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

Today is day 59 of the state legislature’s 60 day session, and it has brought chaos in the Capitol. Budget disagreements have already forced an extension through Monday, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, there is a growing suspicion among lawmakers that its going to be a long hot summer in Tallahassee.

Everywhere you looked on the Senate floor, somebody’s trying to cut a deal on something. Major legislation, including medical marijuana, workers compensation insurance and school testing was at a standstill. Rob Bradley is trying to shepherd the medical marijuana bill.

“We’re either going to finish it by Friday or we won’t finish it, but I[m confident we’re going to finish it” says Bradley.

Q:”What’s the biggest sticking point right now?”

“Caps on dispensaries.”

But a pot proponent, Jeff Brandes is unhappy over wholesale changes that are being dropped at the last minute,

“That nobody has read, that nobody really understands.  we’re making wholesale policy decisions at the end of the day that nobody truly, deeply understands the ramifications of” says a heated Brandes.

There’s more horse trading going on here than anytime over the last eight weeks, and that’s why all these lobbyists are here, trying to figure out what’s going on.

The budget deal was close, but not closed at midday said Senator Anitere Florida of Miami.

“The budget’s done. The budget’s not done. The budget’s almost done” said Flores.

That’s leaving Governor Rick Scott, who would hit five cities before the day was out, talking about a budget veto if there wasn’t more money for Visit Florida and some funding for Enterprise Florida.

“There supposed to vote on this budget on Monday. I have no earthly idea what’s in this budget” Scott told reporters.

And House Democratic leader Janet Cruz had this warning for Democrats.

“Don’t book any vacations that are after Monday that are out of the country. make sure you are within two days of getting here.”

All of which could lead to a long hot simmer this summer of budget and policy.

No Governor has vetoed an entire budget since Bob graham, unhappy over education funding, issued a veto in 1980.

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