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Florida Gov. signs 33 bills including vote-by-mail fix


Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed 33 bills, including one (HB 105) that requires county election offices to notify voters if their signatures on their ballot and voter registration forms don't match.

“Were privately planning. But well wait and see, ” he said.

Next week's special legislative session focused on funding for education and economic development won't include medical marijuana, at least for now. "If we can not, I don't know that waiting a month or two is going to make a difference", he said. “Its going to have to be very, very specific.

The deal also will fund Visit Florida, the state's tourism promotion agency, to the tune of $76 million.

Florida leaders said negotiations have been ongoing, but a decision could not be made in time.

“I know those are discussions between those two parties that are occurring.

Despite a push from school districts and Democrats unhappy with the level of education spending, Scott did not follow through on his threat to veto the entire $83 billion budget, choosing instead to use his line-item veto authority to prune $410 million in funding for local projects across the state as he signed the overall package.

“I think the Senates track record in supporting the governors priorities speaks for itself.

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Critics say the bill was brokered in secrecy during backroom meetings in the final days of the session and are calling on the governor to veto the legislation. Part of the mix includes a key education policy bill (HB 7069) that includes $419 million in charter-school incentives and pay bonuses for teachers and principals but is opposed by major education groups. That money will be used to fund Scott's priorities.

Negron and other Senate leaders emphasized that they had supported Scott's call for increased school funding and economic-development and tourism funding from the beginning of the 2017 session.

The Republican governor remains angered over the Legislature's decision to slash spending for economic development and tourism incentives, as well as rejecting his call for $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike around Lake Okeechobee. The bill would have capped Enterprise Florida salaries at $130,273. "I appreciate the fact that people fight for what they believe in and I think often what happens at the end of that discussion is that you end up with a good product", Scott said during the press conference.

"So what I have said is that I am reviewing 7069". Youre going to get creamed.”.

Corcoran pushed to abolish Enterprise Florida and eventually settled on eliminating funding for the agency, leaving Scott - who bills himself as the "jobs governor" - incensed.

“I hope everybody remembers that this is the day that for sure we start not being competitive, ” Scott said.

The session will include proposed legislation dealing with public education, Enterprise Florida, VISIT Florida and medical marijuana, according to a Capitol source.

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