Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

Gov. Rick Scott, lawmakers to return for special session

Gov. Rick Scott, lawmakers to return for 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. The governor also called for a special legislative session to discuss several budget topics.

Corcoran, meanwhile, has been defending a wide-ranging education bill that boosts funding for charter schools and teacher bonuses.

In return for reaching a compromise on his top priorities, the governor is expected to sign a wide-sweeping education bill (HB 7069), a top priority for Corcoran, and a higher education bill (SB 374), a top priority for Negron.

Each leader will get something from the deal, which will be completed in a special session that begins Wednesday.

"We voted twice and we've gone through an entire legislative session, and now they're coming back for a special session that possibly does not include medical marijuana".

Florida will fix the state's vote-by-mail ballot law that a federal judge called "illogical and freakish".

One notable issue, medical marijuana, which was supported by 71 percent of Floridians in last year's election, won't initially be part of special session. It would give Scott a chance to renew his pitch for $85 million in economic-development incentives and $100 million for tourism-marketer Visit Florida. Lawmakers had cut the funding to $25 million in the budget passed last month.

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That line-item was among a plethora of vetoes Gov. Rick Scott handed down Friday evening.

Corcoran said he is satisfied that the new plan assures more oversight and public benefit for economic incentive money rather than what he derided as "corporate welfare" under Scott's original proposal.

Though lawmakers insist they will pass legislation implementing the voters' will before a key July 3 deadline, Corcoran said Friday morning they still do not have a deal on whether to cap the number of storefront dispensaries each licensed grower could open.

Corcoran also sought to slash funding for Enterprise Florida's operating budget from $23.5 million to $16 million and eliminate 21 corporate incentive programs.

The governor will get his main priority: funding for economic incentives and tourism promotion.

"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.

The governor, however, refused to say whether or not the deal reached with legislators is contingent on him approving a sweeping education bill that was put together secretly in the waning days of the regular session. The bill, HB 7069, hasn't yet been sent to Scott's desk. "The students and the state win, the people who want a better paying job wins, everybody wins", Scott told reporters Friday. If lawmakers do not act, the state Department of Health will establish rules for the industry later this summer.

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