Scott, legislative leaders announce special session

Scott, legislative leaders announce 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.

Leaders of the public-private Enterprise Florida, as they began a two-day meeting Thursday in Tallahassee, outlined plans to alter marketing but otherwise mostly expressed disappointment in the spending package lawmakers formally sent to Scott on Wednesday.

In return, Scott is expected to sign a controversial education bill, HB 7069, that is Corcoran's top priority.

But Galvano sounded cryptic about the possibility of a separate special session to deal with the regulatory framework for medical marijuana if lawmakers don't agree during next week's session.

Visit Florida will see its funding restored to the current level of $76 million, Scott said, with measures to "increase accountability and transparency" at the agency, which saw its funding drastically cut in the original budget approved by the Legislature last month.

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

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Lawmakers have yet to complete work to regulate the use of marijuana, which was approved by voters in a constitutional amendment that passed during the November election. Under the deal reached by the governor and lawmakers, the reduced funding for the state's economic development partnership will remain, but Scott will be given $85 million to offer incentives to locating or expanding businesses. The budget passed by the Legislature would give VISIT FLORIDA $25 million, which is $51 million less than what it received in this year's budget. In doing so, Scott rejected an analysis that Miami-Dade County Public Schools and other urban districts had hoped would eventually let them have more money to pay teachers simply so they could afford housing and other living expenses.

"The people of Florida should be proud today that you can have leaders with competing opinions and still compromise to meet common goals-government in Florida is working and the biggest winners are all Floridians", said Corcoran.

Scott had asked the Legislature for $85 million to replenish a corporate cash incentive fund, but that was ignored by lawmakers.

Corcoran had resisted funding economic incentives, deriding them as "corporate welfare".

Scott is also expected to veto about $300 million in special projects lawmakers included in the budget.

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. Scott argues the agency has been critical for job creation in the state. The bill, HB 7069, hasn't yet been sent to Scott's desk. Without legislative action, more of the responsibility for the regulatory framework would fall on the state Department of Health.

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