Friday, 28 July, 2017

Medical marijuana left out of Florida Legislature's special session

Bill watch: Governor vetoes liquor bill Gov. Scott facing pressure to veto state budget
Owen Mccarthy | 04 June, 2017, 06:40

Scott signed into law the $82 billion state budget for 2017-18 after lawmakers agreed to spend another $215 million or so on public schools during a three-day special session set for next week.

Gov. Rick Scott (left), Senate President Joe Negron (top) and House Speaker Richard Corcoran. These are all issues he plans to address with the Legislature during the special session June 7th through the 9th.

Scott said the topics will include funding for grade-school students, Florida's job growth grant fund and the state's tourism marketing agency.

"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.

And by using his veto leverage the governor appears to have successfully secured more than $100 million into his pet programs, Enterprise and Visit Florida, which give money to companies in exchange for job creation.

But while state leaders are patting themselves on the back for finding common ground, Mark Wilson of the Florida Chamber is a bit more circumspect.

Kim Wilmes, president and CEO of the regional economic-development organization Florida's Great Northwest, said the money will allow the region "to begin building that bright new economic future".

ADP Reports 253000 New Jobs in May; 'Rip-Roaring' Growth
The Commerce Department said spending on private construction also fell by 0.7% to an annual rate of USD943.3 billion in May. A key factories report released overnight revealed activity ticked up in May after two consecutive months of slowing.

Capsule preview of the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals matchup
In other words, if another Warrior shook loose, it wouldn't be so easy for James to help off of Durant, who would can open shots. Green is also an x-factor because of his potential for losing his self-control and pushing himself off the court.

Underdog Cavs insist they have plenty of bite for Finals
No team in the West has been able to contain their high-paced juggernaut thus far, as they have yet to lose in the postseason. This one is the tiebreaker, after the Warriors won two years ago and the Cavaliers knocked off Golden State last June.

"Our attractive beaches were devastated by the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill", Scott said in a statement.

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

While VISIT FLORIDA's funding would increase under the new deal, the agency also would face tough transparency standards for its contracts, including legislative oversight for deals worth $750,000 or more. The public schools budget rejected by Scott offered a pitiful per student spending increase of $24, or less than one-half of 1 percent.

HB 7069 provides for $419 million in schools spending, including the House's "Schools of Hope" initiative, steering money to charter schools that take pupils from consistently failing public schools.

Indeed, that support is reflected in the massive amount of input Scott's office has received from Floridians since May 8 urging him to sign or veto the bill. "I look forward to working with the legislature during the upcoming special session to achieve these important goals for Florida families". The Legislature failed to pass a bill during its 60-day regular session that would implement a constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana.

House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz of Tampa called "Schools of Hope" a "slush fund for private charter school operators" and criticized Scott, Corcoran and Negron for coordinating a special session she called "a farce".

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