Monday, May 30, 2011

Scott signs new Fla. budget but vetoes $615M first

Gov. Rick Scott signed a $69.1 billion state budget Thursday, but before doing that he vetoed a record $615 million in spending, including money for environmental land purchases, college and university buildings, homeless veterans, public broadcasting and local projects ranging from health care to rowing.

The new Republican governor vetoed more than 150 line items after the GOP-controlled Legislature already had chopped nearly $4 billion in spending.

Scott also vetoed about $165 million in college and university construction projects and eliminated all state funding - $4.8 million - for public television and radio. Local projects vetoed include $1 million for a medical and dental program in Lake Wakes and $5 million for a rowing facility in Sarasota County.

Other vetoed appropriations include $2 million for research on a plant disease that's threatening the state's multibillion-dollar citrus industry, $10 million for St. Johns River restoration, $6 million to help the Panhandle's economy recover from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and $3 million for a disadvantaged youth jobs program.

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