Scott finishes with a flourish — vetoing final bills before himby John Kennedy | July 2nd, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott vetoed Tuesday the final three bills sent to him by the 2013 Florida Legislature, rejecting proposals that would have expanded the authority of obscure special districts, including one in Palm Beach County.
The South Indian River Water Control District measure (HB 855), sponsored by fellow Republican Rep. Pat Rooney of West Palm Beach, ran afoul of Scott because it would have let district managers spend tax dollars on playground equipment. Scott said that’s a role usually played by cities or counties.
“The bill’s expansion of the district’s authority allows multiple local governments to provide the same or similar services, resulting in duplicative taxation and an increased cost of living for families in Palm Beach County,” Scott said in his veto message.
The other measures vetoed by Scott (HBs 1009, 1281) involved giving more authority to local districts serving Indian River County, Hendry and Lee counties.
Scott’s action was reminiscent of his veto of the only explicit fee increase approved by the Republican-led Legislature: a $10 boost in the cost of buying the $15 wildflower specialty license tag. Scott, who is seeking re-election next year, clearly is wary of being accused by Democratic opponents of waffling on taxes.
“Although buying a specialty license plate is voluntary, Floridians wishing to demonstrate their support for our state’s natural beauty would be subjected to the cost increases sought by this bill,” Scott said in stamping out the tag hike.