TALLAHASSEE — With the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature set to miss a Friday deadline for passing a budget and resisting Republican Gov. Rick Scott‘s top priorities, Scott isn’t hanging around the Capitol to try to twist arms during the final days of the legislative session.
Instead, Scott plans to visit Riviera Beach and three other cities today as he begins a three-day “Fighting For Florida’s Future” tour that aims “to encourage Floridians to contact members of the Florida Legislature and urge them to invest in key priorities for Florida’s future.”
Scott, expected to run for the seat of Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year, wants lawmakers to approve $100 million for the Visit Florida tourist marketing program rather than the $25 million House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, wants. Scott wants $85 million for the Enterprise Florida business-incentive program that lawmakers are poised to kill. And the governor wants lawmakers to add $200 million to the budget for repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.
Scott’s tour — which includes a 2:30 p.m. stop today at RGF Environmental Group in Riviera Beach — was timed to coincide with the final three days of the legislative session.
But lawmakers conceded Tuesday they won’t complete work on the state budget by Friday’s deadline. State law requires a budget document to be finished 72 hours before a final vote. By late Tuesday, it was clear lawmakers hadn’t reached agreement on some issues, including how to distribute $651 million in Medicaid cuts to hospitals.
Scott today plans to stop in Lake Mary and Tampa before visiting Riviera Beach. After his Palm Beach County appearance, he’s scheduled to go on to an event in Sunrise.
On Thursday and Friday, the governor plans to hit Pensacola, Panama City, Naples, Sarasota, Jacksonville and the Space Coast.