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Gov. Scott, legislative leaders to make announcement

Gov. Scott, legislative leaders to make announcement

This would amount to an additional $215 million for those in K-12 programs. 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. The call, issued by Scott on Friday morning, calls on lawmakers to tackle issues relating to funding for public education, Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.

Robert Avossa, superintendent for the School District of Palm Beach County, was also critical, saying the governor's push to boost per pupil education spending by $100 - about $75 per pupil more than legislators had agreed upon - is inadequate given state revenue growth.

But Scott didn't include marijuana in his call for the Legislature to come back to town.

When Florida lawmakers begin a special session next week, one issue that has support from 71 percent of voters won't be on their agenda: medical marijuana.

The Florida Senate declined to kill Enterprise Florida, instead agreeing to cut the agency's budget from $25 million to $16 million.

And although the new budget bill passed overwhelmingly, an override could be blocked by Senate Democrats, who control 15 of 39 now occupied seats and could use their leverage to increase spending on public schools.

Lawmakers have agreed to boost public school spending by $210 million, bringing the total increase in this year's state budget to $100 per student, Corcoran told the Times/Herald.

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Corcoran, who had railed against economic development spending as "corporate welfare", insisted there has been a "meeting of minds" because the state will no longer offer money directly to one business.

The downside for Scott in such a scenario is that eliminating budget line items does nothing to restore funding for his priorities, including economic incentives, tourism and public education.

"Rick Scott and Richard Corcoran represent dirty, backroom politics at its worst, and this secret budget fails Florida's working families", Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Johanna Cervone said in a statement.

Scott, who chairs the Enterprise Florida board, has expressed anger with the funding package but hasnt indicated if hell sign the $82.4 billion budget before a June 15 deadline or detailed the extent of potential vetoes.

Another priority for Corcoran was to slash funding for VISIT FLORIDA, which drew heavy scrutiny from lawmakers in the wake of a secretive $1 million deal with Miami rapper Pitbull.

The governor, however, refused to say whether or not the deal reached with legislators is contingent on him approving a sweeping education bill that was put together secretly in the waning days of the regular session. Without legislative action, more of the responsibility for the regulatory framework would fall on the state Department of Health. "The focus will be 'How do we get more jobs in the state, '" said Scott. "I don't have information that that's changed at this point", he said, adding that House and Senate bills were "very, very close" by the end of the regular session.

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