Speaker Corcoran (left) and President Negron speak with press after final budget conference meeting.
Last Friday, Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran signed off on next year's state budget and agreed to extend the 2017 regular session until Monday, to allow for the 72-hour constitutionally required "cooling off" period to review the final budget. The earliest a budget vote can be taken is 2:43 p.m. today.
A brief overview of select budget items of interest to United Way can be reviewed here.
Budget Veto Ahead?
Speaker Richard Corcoran with House budget leaders.
The running feud between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Governor Rick Scott about funding Enterprise Florida has been nasty and personal. Under Speaker Corcoran's leadership, and with the concurrence of the Senate, all three of the Governor's priority issues -- Tax Cuts and funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida -- were thwarted by the Legislature this session. Will Governor Scott veto the entire budget or just parts of it? A three-fifths vote of both chambers is required to override the veto.
Education: Committee on Early Grade Success Poised to Pass
Rep. Erin Grall discusses early childhood education and her bill creating a Committee for Early Grade Success. The bill language was added to HB 7069.
One of the budget bills that will be voted on today is the 2017 Session's "education train", which includes provisions from other bills that did not pass. The 279 page bill (CS/HB 7069) includes changes to major education policy including, among many others, the United Way-supported Committee on Early Success, as well as required elementary school recess.
Juvenile Civil Citation Bill Passes
Senate Pro Tempore Flores championed juvenile civil citations.
Punishment for juveniles who are arrested for nonviolent offenses varies significantly from county to county. To address these disparities and also ensure more appropriate punishment for minor offenses, the Legislature has passed and sent to Governor Scott for his signature HB 301, concerning civil citations. Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores championed this legislation saying, "There is a difference between the lack of judgment and maturity, and deliberate criminal behavior. When young people commit serious, violent crimes, there needs to be an appropriate legal penalty to ensure public safety. However, for many non-violent, first-time offenders, a civil citation is a better mechanism to help a young person learn from his or her mistakes without a criminal record that could haunt them throughout their adult life."
Bills to Watch
Legislative Link will be back in a few weeks with a full wrap-up of the 2017 Legislative Session, including bills that passed, bills that died and bills that were vetoed. Stay tuned!