Gov. Scott Says He Will Sign Budget, Call Special Session

Jun 2, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday in Miami that he will sign the state budget approved by the Legislature this year — and call a special session next week to increase spending for schools and economic development.

At the special session June 7-9, he said he will be asking the Legislature to add $100 per student in K-12 school funding, establish a new $85 million job growth grant program and increase funding to the state's tourism marketing arm to keep it at its current level.

"These things will help us, one, increase more jobs in the state," Scott said. "On top of that, it's also going to continue to focus on improving the education system for all students in our state, and all families."

The new program will be called the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund and will be run through the state's Department of Economic Opportunity.

"The whole focus will be how to get more jobs in the state," Scott said.

Visit Florida will see its funding restored to the current level of $76 million, Scott said, with measures to "increase accountability and transparency" at the agency, which saw its funding drastically cut in the original budget approved by the Legislature last month.

The increased school spending will amount to $210 million.

Scott said he would be announcing his line item vetoes later on Friday.

The special session comes after several days of quiet negotiations among Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron.

Lawmakers have not yet agreed on how to regulate dispensaries for medical marijuana, which was approved by 71 percent of Florida voters last November. Corcoran said medical marijuana is not currently on the list of special session issues, but that it could be added over the weekend.

A previous version of this story incorrectly said Gov. Rick Scott would approve the controversial House Bill 7069, which would expand charter schools and teacher bonuses. That bill is still under review, and the governor has not said when he will make a decision.