Governor Scott has aggressively used his “Let’s Get to Work” political committee to attack Republican lawmakers the last several weeks on spending priorities. The deal reached yesterday between the House and Senate was a compromise between an extremely ideologically-charged anti-government budget that came out of the House and a more reasonable one that came out of the Senate. Still the Governor, whose metamorphosis from conservative warrior in the 2010 to 2013 period to soft conservative in 2014 and 2015 to neoliberal in 2016 and 2017 (at least when it comes to economics) has left him out of step with the legislature’s priorities in terms of slashing spending on certain programs.
Scott’s three biggest priorities – Enterprise Florida, the Lake Okeechobee dike and Visit Florida either saw no increases in funding or outright cuts. This leaves the Governor in an awkward position. Should he veto the ENTIRE budget something that hasn’t happened in 30 years in this state and call a Special Session potentially causing a government shutdown if things aren’t resolved by July 1? The Governor’s attempts to rough up GOP legislators continue today as Gary Fineout has reported Scott’s committee will be making robocalls in 10 districts today specifically about the need for Lake Okeechobee dike repair funding. But to this point, the Governor’s efforts to weaken Republican legislators in their home districts using robocalls and TV ads hasn’t worked – or at least has not impacted the way they’ve conducted themselves in the legislature.
The Democrats for whatever reason are making themselves available potentially to join in a veto override with certain conditions (seemingly a negotiating ploy). It’s worth noting more than a handful of Democratic votes would be needed to override the veto because several Republicans likely will stick with the Governor if he vetoes the entire budget. If 10-15 Republicans break off in the House and support the Governor’s veto then Democrats play a strategic role potentially.
Scott’s thoughts on the three items we listed above are so far from where the legislature stands that a Special Session could very well lead to no result and a government shutdown. Should the Governor take that risk? What do our readers think? Poll after the jump…