Bill watch: Governor vetoes liquor bill

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Almost month after they went home following the conclusion of the 2017 Legislative session, members of both the Florida House and Senate will be returning to Tallahassee for a three day special session. In the week after session, both Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, had informally agreed lawmakers should return to the Capitol to settle the issue.

Gov. Rick Scott signed a almost $83 billion state budget Friday, and released a list of line item vetoes amounting to almost $12 billion.

The legislation is a top priority for Corcoran and would steer more state and local money to privately-run charter schools by creating a $140 million "Schools of Hope" program.

"I appreciate the fact that people fight for what they believe in", he says about the political battle with Speaker Corcoran over Visit Florida funding.

In the end, Gov. Rick Scott and GOP leaders in the House and Senate hashed out a budget deal that allows each of the Republican leaders to claim victory.

On May 9, a day after the budget was approved by the House and Senate, Scott told reporters in Panama City that Florida won't be in the "game for economic development" due to the cuts to Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. 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.

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“I hope everybody remembers that this is the day that for sure we start not being competitive, ” Scott said.

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

Scott's full budget veto list will be released later today. "I look forward to working with the legislature during the upcoming special session to achieve these important goals for Florida families". Scott also vetoed $37.4 million that was going to go to homeowners in two counties whose healthy citrus trees were torn down in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker. The bill, HB 7069, hasn't yet been sent to Scott's desk.

And although the new budget bill passed overwhelmingly, an override could be blocked by Senate Democrats, who control 15 of 39 now occupied seats and could use their leverage to increase spending on public schools. Scott said he aims to "increase the K-12 funding". According to the Florida Independent Spirits Association President Rory Eggers, more than 1,000 letters were delivered to the Governor voicing concerns and asking him to veto the bill.

Additionally, legislative leaders have said they would use a special session on the budget to try to resolve an impasse over legislation enacting the November constitutional amendment on medical marijuana.

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