Despite Agencies' Critical Needs List Request, Scott 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Budget

May 20, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott speaking to reporters Wednesday, following a visit to the Gretchen Everhart School in Tallahassee.
Credit Florida Channel

Despite telling his agency heads to list the state’s most critical service needs in the event of a government shutdown, Governor Rick Scott says he’s “cautiously optimistic” Florida lawmakers will pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year.

In a recent 65-page report, agency heads told the Governor there would no longer be state oversight for private prisons, criminal prosecutions would cease, and disabled kids would be without needed services, if there’s no budget by July 1st. Lottery ticket sales would also cease and public schools would also be negatively affected. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Scott said he wanted the list—just in case.

“I can tell you that I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure all the critical services can continue,” said Scott. “The state’s doing the right thing. We’re now leading the country in a lot of ways, especially with job growth. But, I’m optimistic that we’ll have a good session, and we won’t have any issues. But, you know, I’m going to make sure the state continues to run...it’s my job.”

Lawmakers will meet in a 20-day special session, starting June 1st. The Florida Legislature ended the regular session without passing a budget due to an impasse between the House and Senate over healthcare funding.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.