The Florida House handed the $77.1 billion budget to Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday, but most bills that passed the Legislature still have not yet reached his desk.
cott has 15 calendar days to act. His staff has been studying the budget line-by-line as the re-election-minded governor must decide whether to lop hundreds of millions of dollars in hometown spending from the biggest budget in state history or largely leave it as is.
If Scott wields a heavy veto pen and rejects, say, more than $300 million, it will upset a lot of legislators and send a clear signal that he’s concerned about his conservative base and needs to reassure them that he opposes more government spending. (Remember what Scott himself called it: the “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget”).
A light touch will be welcomed by lawmakers but not by fiscal conservatives. Scott also must be consistent in the logic he applies to line items or risk being accused of playing favorites.