Rick Scott signs Florida budget, slashes $600 million in line-item vetoes listen05/26/11 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:
Republican Governor Rick Scott signed the state budget today. Florida lawmakers had cut nearly $4 billion from the budget for next fiscal year. But today in a private Republican Party of Florida event at The Villages, Scott announced he had vetoed $615 million in line items.
"There were 3,036 line items in the budget. 3,036. I know this because I looked at every single line item in the budget, and it took quite a bit of time. But, grab my favorite pen, but not all of those line items made it past this veto pen. The Florida Constitution gives me the authority to hold special interests accountable with the line item veto. Today I'm exercising that authority to remove an additional $615 million worth of special interests."
Governor Scott called on the Legislature to re-direct some of the funds to education.
Among the cuts: Nearly $14 million from the various University of South Florida campuses, and a request by the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, or TBARTA, to roll over its unspent balance, and nearly $4.8 million to public television and radio Stations. This is WMNF's development director, Laura Taylor.
"The state legislature had already cut about $20,000 from our appropriation but we were still hoping to get that $64,000 or so. Now, without that, we're not sure where we stand. We do have plans to make it up but we'll have to see if they work. We're going to have to take a look at next year's budget but the truth is we may not be able to pay for some programs that WMNF listeners rely on every day and may not be able to produce all of these events, too."
The St Petersburg Times reports:
“A group was from The Villages Democratic Club was kicked across the street, told by Florida Republican Party staffer Russ Adams that the event was private. The event space was leased by the Republican Party and sheriff's deputies are escorting from the property people with Democratic-leaning signs.”
The ACLU of Florida said it is seeking more information about the protesters who were kicked out of the bill signing event.