The Florida Legislature has passed its budget and gone home. But the manner in which lawmakers closed out this year’s session raises a number of questions about process, special session, and the veto pen.
The Florida House has signed off on Senate President Joe Negron’s top priority: a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee. After a quick stop and approval by the Senate, the measure is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.
The case of a surviving abuse victim that led to the overhaul of Florida’s child welfare system may be close to reaching a resolution. While the claims bill to further compensate the victim has usually died in the past legislative sessions, it’s now headed to the Governor for final approval.
Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he appreciates Governor Rick Scott’s support for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. But he’s concerned about Scott’s request to include $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike. Negron said he doesn’t trust the federal government to reimburse the state for repairs to the federally-operated levee.
Florida Sen. Jack Latvala says he’s not ready to give up politics after he’s term limited in the Senate next year. But he won’t say what he’s eyeing next. Latvala spoke at the Tiger Bay Club in Tallahassee.
Legislators and community college presidents are pleading with leaders in the Florida House and Senate to spare community colleges from budget cuts. The House and Senate have very different budget proposals. But college presidents said they don’t like either one.
House Speaker Richard Corcoran says changes to the Senate’s plan to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee make the proposal better, but he’s refusing to cave on one big issue: whether to borrow money to finance the system.
A decades old subsidy for the insurance industry is shedding light on differing approaches for cutting taxes in the state. A Senate panel approved a plan to plow the money into reducing a business rent tax.
In 2011, the Florida legislature passed a measure to convert Medicaid insurance into a managed care system. But Republican lawmakers now want to take the program away from “big businesses” and change it into a block grant system. But Medicaid providers said if that happens low income families will lose access to health care.
One of the most controversial spending programs of this year’s session passed its second committee stop Wednesday. The reservoir project championed by Senate President Joe Negron raises conflicting concerns with supporters and opponents.