Tallahassee, FL - Fresh off an election that gave Republicans a supermajority in the House and Senate, the men slated to take over the two chambers are wasting no time. Independent Governor Charlie Crist beat up the GOP this spring, vetoing 18 bills passed through the legislature. Now Incoming Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President-designate Mike Haridopolos have the numbers to override those vetoes.
“These are great public policies that passed with overwhelming majorities and they’re good ideas,” said Cannon.
Cannon and Haridopolos will take office Nov. 16th, immediately call a special session and ask the legislature to override nine vetoes and one budget item. Most the bills and the agenda passed with little contention. But while the more controversial issues are off the table for the special session, when lawmakers meet again in March for regular session anything goes.”
That means another attempt at merit pay for teachers and mandatory ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion could be pushed through. Crist vetoed both the items this past spring, but the governor-elect is more likely to sign off on the measures. Opponents of the ultrasound bill hope GOP lawmakers are too focused on jobs to tackle social issues.
And with a million people out of work and a governor-elect promising to create 700-thousand jobs, the economy will demand a lot of attention. The budget item the legislature will take up is a 10 million dollar allocation for Shands hospital in Gainesville. The money will help uninsured children and will also pull down matching federal Medicaid dollars.