Veto Override Special Session

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL - Republican legislators went to Tallahassee Tuesday with the goal of overriding a handful of vetoes issued by Gov. Charlie Crist last spring.

With very little debate, they have done exactly what they set out to do. Seven of nine bills vetoed by Crist during the regular session were overturned within a matter of minutes.

Two targeted vetoes originally planned for consideration in the special session were taken off the agenda under pressure from Governor-elect Rick Scott and other special interests. Legislators dropped the efforts to overturn vetoes of bills that would have reduced the governor's power over the Department of Management Services and that would have controlled worker's compensation costs to the state.

Two others were never included on today’s list: the SB 6 teacher tenure package and a bill to require women to view an ultrasound before they can get an abortion. Both were very controversial and opposed by moderate Republicans.

Many of the vetoed bills which will now become law are technical in nature, but there is a much larger point that hasn't been lost on anyone.

Traditionally, Florida's newly elected legislators take their oaths and shake a few hands, but this year is different as Republicans now have a veto-proof majority.

By most accounts, House Speaker Dean Cannon is prepared to steamroll over the Democratic minority to get his party's agenda passed.

Cannon disagrees with that characterization.

"I extend a pledge of fairness to members of both parties, but please remember that obstructionism is not the same as dissent and personal attacks are not the same as meaningful debate," Cannon said.

But before the debate about future issues can get underway, Republicans wanted to take care of yesterday's business, including a list of bills vetoed by Crist. That list includes a $10-million grant for the University of Florida's Shands Hospital and a package of agricultural land tax breaks.

State. Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, calls it vindication.

"I still don't understand why he vetoed all those bills," he said. "I had an amendment in one to help our strawberry farmers and other farmers with the freeze protection, giving them tax breaks if they're saving water, the problems we had with water last year, it's in one of those bills."

Still, Democrats like Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, call the override votes politically motivated. After all, Gov. Crist bucked his own party to run as an independent in his failed U.S. Senate bid. Kriseman said Republicans were out for payback.

"If it wasn't about Charlie Crist, then why aren't these issues being brought up during regular session, and if the argument is that these were too important for us to wait, we had a special session in July that these issues could have been brought up in," he said.

The vetoes weren't the only issues lawmakers took up. They also voted to delay mandatory septic tank inspections until July, and another vote will let Florida obtain federal money to pay people who have been waiting for a check under the state's energy-efficient air conditioner rebate program.

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  • by steveb on Nov 17, 2010 at 01:38 PM
    Thank you Rick Scott for bringing an end to big government in Tallahassee! It doesn't work. Now get to work putting these useless bureaucrats out of work. They get paid for not turning a profit or even properly overseeing the simple functions they perform. Half of this elitist town is devoted to sitting around an office and playing like they're working and they know it. Try getting anything done at the DMV and see what I mean. When government runs like a business it works. For those of you who keep saying Scott was a dirty business man you have never run one before. You probably work for the government and are crying like the whiny elite liberal you are. By the way the Tallahassee Democrat is filled up with them. Rick Scott will put every last one of you underworked socialists out of business. HA! HA! HA!!!
  • by GV Location: Ga on Nov 17, 2010 at 01:35 PM
    Trickle down ecomonics works alot better than the trickle up poverty that obammy and his cronies are doing.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2010 at 12:30 PM
    Trickle down did work during the Reagan years. How can you not see this. The Tax cuts spurred business and the tax revenue grew substantially during this time. Unfortunately the Congress (during this same time)did not control spending and the deficit continued to grow. Don't take my word for it look it up on the governments own web site. Look at tax revenue year to year versus spending in the 80's and 90's.
  • by Jay Location: over round home on Nov 17, 2010 at 12:17 PM
    @ Anonymous on Nov 17, 2010 at 09:02 AM you are joking right? I lived in California when Regan was governor and sales taxes was seven cents on the dollar in 1969. I knew better than to vote for Regan for higher office and he added three trillion dollars to the national debt to build an army that was completely depleted by the time Clinton took office. If you must spread republican proganda I will challenge you every time. Carter was an honest man and the election of regan and rick scott tells me no one wants a honest man in leadership roles but they want to gripe constancely about how much trouble we are always finding ourselves in as a result of poor leadership. Talk that smack to stupid people cause those of us who know better do just that.
  • by Concerned Location: N Fla on Nov 17, 2010 at 08:34 AM
    A majority that can do whatever it wants on either side is dangerous. Watch out for all the new bills that benefit only those who can afford to spend the money to get them passed. Politics today only means "our side is right and they are wrong" It used to mean what is BEST FOR FLORIDA, NOT what is best for "OUR" PARTY.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2010 at 08:16 AM
    All I have to say is "OMG Rick Scott broke state and federal laws while being a business man. Now he is going to make the final decision of our laws. God help us. Please".
  • by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2010 at 06:02 AM
    Jim,as I was around when Reagan led us out of the mess Carter put us in I seen first hand that trickle down does work well,PLEASE feel free to move to California so you can be with more like minded people.
  • by Jim Location: Havana on Nov 17, 2010 at 04:47 AM
    These braindead republicans have no consideration for the common man. Trickle down does not & has not ever worked; even for senile Reagan. I am embarassed to be a native Floridan.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2010 at 04:43 AM
    Before you start thanking Scott, lets see what exactly he does. He has promised a lot of things, it will be interesting to see how much of what he promised actually gets done. Remember Scott doesn't make laws, he only provides a direction. But with the new legislature in place, he should be able to get a lot of work done.
  • by Franklin Thompson Location: Tallahassee on Nov 17, 2010 at 03:11 AM
    Early in his Governorship, Crist seemed capable but in retrospect, he was the 'Nero who fiddled while Florida burned'.
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