UPDATE: Scott goes to bed as session melts downby Dara Kam | May 6th, 2011
UPDATE: Senate’s going home until 10 a.m. Senate President Mike Haridopolos said he hopes they’ll get the tax cut bill by then. The tax cut measure (SB 7203) includes a component that would allow a Jacksonville greyhound track to get arcade-style slot machines. A track in Rules Chairman John Thrasher’s district is seeking the video slots.
Gov. Rick Scott has left the building as the legislative session devolved into chaos around midnight.
Forget the traditional sine die white hanky drop where the governor, House Speaker and Senate President ceremonially signal the successful completion of another session. Not going to happen.
Instead, the Senate extended session until 6 p.m. tomorrow, miffed that the House had ignored a handful of bills considered crucial, including a $12 million by the Broward Sheriffs Office to Eric Brody who was injured by a Broward deputy 13 years ago.
Around 12:15 a.m., Senate President Mike Haridopolos advised his members to stick around in informal recess until 1 a.m. If he and House Speaker Dean Cannon can’t reach an agreement on what bills to take up by then, Haridopolos said he’ll call it a night.
“I will try not to keep us too late,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said.
Earlier in the evening, the Senate revolted against the chamber’s GOP leadership by voting down a measure deregulating less than a half dozen professions, including interior designers. The House is now holding up an economic development bill with a tax credit and a sales tax holiday the Senate was hoping to finalize tonight.
It seems an unfortunate end to the governor’s first session. Scott’s spokesman Brian Burgess said his boss is disappointed there wasn’t a simultaneous finale but “very, very pleased” that “90 percent of what we wanted went through.”
Scott had to get to bed because “he’s got a very aggressive schedule over the next few days,” Burgess said.