By: Mike Vasilinda
Governor Rick Scott has vetoed alimony reform legislation that advocates describe as unfriendly to women and families. One more day remains in the legislative session in Tallahassee and the bill’s sponsor is doing his best to save the majority of the legislation.
Governor Rick Scott has been married 41 years. He even tweeted the message on April 19th. Hours after vetoing an alimony reform bill, the Governor told us he was unhappy with the retroactivity clause in the bill. “You can go back and review prior agreements.”, says Governor Scott.
Reporter: “Was it hard for you to reach, just to even hear the other side just because of the fact that you’ve been married so long. Did that play a role in this?”
Governor Scott: “I think you look at everything based on your own experiences. But you try, I try to listen.”
The Senate sponsor says she will not try to override the veto, even though more than two thirds of the Senate voted yes. “The winners in this issues, basically the ones who won were the attorneys.”, says Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.
Women’s advocates are ecstatic.
“It’s hard to organize the women who were scared to death if this bill passes, because they’re scared to speak out. So, I’m elated that the Governor saw, as we do, this is a very radical bill. “, says Sot: Barbara Devane, National Organization for Women.
But the fight may not be over. Now, efforts are under way to take the language that the Governor did not object to, amend it to another bill, and try to get it back through the process before the end of Friday.
Representative Rich Workman is making a last minute attempt to save everything but the retroactivity in the bill.
“I’m giving the opportunity to perhaps have another crack at the apple this year where we give the Governor the part of the bill he liked.”, says House Sponsor Rep. Rich Workman, R-Brevard.
But with an election on his mind, even a pared down alimony bill is not likely to sit well with Scott.
Associated Press Release
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed a bill that would have ended permanent alimony in Florida.
Scott vetoed the bill (SB 718) on Wednesday -- just four hours before the midnight deadline to approve or veto the bill. The bill automatically would have become law if Scott had done nothing by then.
Florida also would have set limits on the amount of alimony and how long one would receive financial support from an ex-spouse.
The bill would have made it harder to get alimony in short-term marriages. And it would have prevented alimony payments from lasting longer than one-half of the length of the marriage.
The bill also would have required judges to give divorced parents equal custody of their children absent extraordinary circumstances.