Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs budget, vetoes nearly $500 million

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott is signing a new state budget into law, but not before vetoing nearly $500 million from the spending plan.

[Scroll below for full list of vetoes ]

Scott signed the roughly $78 billion budget in his office on Tuesday. State government would have been partially shut down if a new budget had not been in place by July 1.

The Republican governor praised the budget in an interview with The Associated Press shortly before he signed it. He noted that legislators had increased money for public schools, services for the disabled and set aside money for tax cuts.

Scott also used his line-item veto power to axe $461.4 million in spending from the budget. It is believed to be a record amount for budget vetoes.

Among the bills vetoed was a downtown campus for the University of Central Florida.

"Probably anything and everything is on the table about how we're going to continue to move this forward," said UCF Spokesman Grant Heston. "The messages I would want to send is that these projects particularly in downtown are very important to all of Central Florida, and they were not finished we're going to continue to keep moving forward."

UCF President John Hitt missed a news conference on Tuesday in order to start working on new funding services.

Instead, he issued a statement, "We appreciate the efforts our many supporters across Central Florida made to advance these projects," said UCF President John C. Hitt in a release. "These are important to students, our economy and community and we will continue working on moving them forward. Time will tell what shape our efforts take, but we are not giving up."

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he was upset over the governor's decision.

"We are obviously disappointed, but will continue to work with our partners to develop a UCF/Valencia campus in Downtown Orlando," he said in a statement sent to Local 6.  "This new campus will bring significant economic impact to our entire region creating more than 4,000 jobs and generating $180 million in wages each year while preparing the workforce of tomorrow and transforming the future of Downtown Orlando and the Parramore community."

Here are other Central Florida projects vetoed by the governor on Tuesday:

  • University of Central Florida - Downtown Presence - Building A - 15,000,000
  • Seminole County Public Schools High-Tech Manufacturing Program 94,301 - 94,301 
  • Seminole County Public Schools High-Tech Manufacturing Program 1,000,000 - 1,000,000
  • Operation Grow - Seminole County Work Opportunity 323,060 - 323,060
  • Special Olympics of Florida - Transportation Services 80,000 - 80,000
  • Eckerd and Brevard C.A.R.E.S. 500,000 - 500,000
  • North Brevard Telemedicine Initiative 121,629 - 121,629
  • The Villages Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Project 400,000 - 400,000
  • Orlando Repertory Theater, inc. 150,000 - 150,000
  • Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts-Orlando 5,000,000 - 5,000,000
  • Brevard C.A.R.E.S. Services to Youth At-Risk of Entering the Juvenile Justice System 1,300,000 - 1,300,000
  • North Brevard Telemedicine Initiative 121,629 - 121,629
  • Williamson Blvd Road - Volusia - 2,500,000 2,500,000
  • Easter Seals Volusia and Flagler Counties 100,000 - 100,000
  • Lake County Re-Entry Center 228,000 - 228,000
  • Altamonte Springs Advanced Wastewater Treatment Potable Reuse Demonstration (Wekiva River Basin) 6,000,000 - 6,000,000
  • Grants And Aids To Local Governments And Nonstate Entities - Fixed Capital Outlay - Grants And Aids - City Of Winter Park Howell Creek Wetlands Acquisition, Preservation And Enhancement - Fixed Cap Outlay 2,000,000 - 2,000,000
  • Kissimmee Wood Side Drainage 250,000 - 250,000
  • Oakland South Lake Apopka Initiative 1,000,000 - 1,000,000
  • Mount Dora Britt Road Utility Extension Water Line 750,000 - 750,000
  • Fiske Boulevard - City of Rockledge - 250,000 250,000
  • Winter Garden SW Reuse Phase 2-C.R Reuse Main Extension 193,380 - 193,380
  • Independence Parkway Interchange - Wellness Way - Orange and Lake - 2,500,000 2,500,000
  • Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse Parking Structure - 2,250,000 2,250,000
  • Pine Hills Community Redevelopment Master Plan 50,000 100,000 150,000
  • US Space Walk of Fame Foundation 200,000 - 200,000
  • Maitland Jewish Community Campus Infrastructure Improvements 500,000 - 500,000
  • Bethune-Cookman University Center for Entrepreneurship - 750,000 750,000 

EDC Space Coast 596,000 - 596,000
Emergency Operations Center-City of Cocoa 500,000 - 500,000
Ma Barker House-Marion - 250,000 250,000
New Smyrna Beach Museum of East Coast Surfing 175,000 - 175,000

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