~~June 25, 2015~~
Gov. Scott wields his veto pen for political payback
BY PAULA DOCKERY
Just four days after the Florida Legislature passed the $78.7 billion state budget, Gov. Rick Scott, with no advanced notice, fanfare or public appearance quietly signed the budget behind closed doors. He didn’t confer with his partners in the process — fellow Cabinet members, legislative leaders and senators and representatives. Even his lieutenant governor was left in the dark.
Nor did he communicate with those who found themselves on the receiving end of his veto pen. Mayors, commissioners, university presidents and healthcare administrators were among those learning their fate online, through the news media or by word of mouth.
Scott vetoed $461 million of legislative spending, a personal record, or less than one percent of the budget.
There was mixed reaction to Scott’s vetoes and to the odd manner in which he performed what is arguably the governor’s most significant responsibility. Individual legislators were surprised to learn that he had completed the job without reaching out to them, as most governors traditionally do.
Scott deserves some criticism for the lack of public discourse, stakeholder involvement and transparency. Scott has — during past sessions — conferred with legislators on their budget priorities. But this session and special session were particularly acrimonious, with the governor siding with one chamber over the other.
“As it appears in … full read/full credit”
Born and raised by underpaid public school teachers in Sanford, Fla., Andy Marlette graduated from the University of Florida and became staff editorial cartoonist at the Pensacola News Journal in 2007.
Marlette received a priceless editorial cartoon education while living with his uncle and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette in Hillsborough, N.C.
Doug’s tragic death in July of 2007 made evermore poignant the elder Marlette’s fierce and faithful devotion to the art form of editorial cartooning as a cornerstone of American free speech. With this in mind, Andy works daily to learn and uphold the disciplines and values passed on to him by his late uncle.
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