Florida Five: Gov. Scott signs $79 million budget, angers GOP with special project vetoes

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Rick Scott signs 2016 budget
Photo credit: @FLGovScott Twitter account

Rick Scott signs $79 billion budget into law – Florida officially has a budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year as of Tuesday morning, when Gov. Rick Scott signed the newly-passed $78.7 billion budget into law. Scott immediately got to business Tuesday morning, signing the budget less than 10 minutes after he released his daily schedule of events. The main highlight of the state budget was nearly $430 million in tax cuts, over $200 million of which includes a communication tax cut on cellphone and television bills. Read more

Gov. Rick Scott vetoes $461 million in budget, angering Republicans – Moving with surprising speed and secrecy, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $461 million from the state budget Tuesday, enraging fellow Republicans for wiping out their priorities with the stroke of a pen. Following a tense session in which he fought senators in his own party, Scott bludgeoned their projects just four days after the end of a three-week special legislative session. He denied that he was getting even with them. Read more

Related: Andy Gardiner: Rick Scott put ‘political agenda’ over Florida’s needs

AFP cheers Rick Scott for vetoing $461 million from Florida budget – Americans for Prosperity’s (AFP) Florida chapter cheered Gov. Rick Scott for using the line-item veto and cutting more than $460 million out of the final budget on Tuesday. “Gov. Scott should be applauded for carefully studying the budget and vetoing $461 million in wasteful spending” said Chris Hudson, AFP’s director in Florida. Read more

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera’s role (or lack thereof) in budget vetoes – Florida Gov. Rick Scott vetoed so many projects in the state budget Tuesday — and so quickly — that it made some political insiders wonder: Did he get recommendations from anyone outside his office? That question was making the rounds in Miami in particular, as the hometown of Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, whom some lobbyists privately hoped would intercede for local projects. No such luck. Read more

Fight over hospital funding for poor in Florida ends quietly — The tumultuous debate over the future of health care funding for the poor came to a quiet end Tuesday as the governor signed into law a budget that includes $1 billion to pay for charity care and raise Medicaid rates at Florida hospitals. In a letter to state officials, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said they have “agreed in principle” to a Florida plan for distribution of the Low Income Pool (LIP) funds that pay for hospital care for Medicaid beneficiaries and the low-income uninsured. Read more

2016 Watch: 2016 rivals Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush engage in friendly, and not-so-friendly, fire

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page

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