Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders work out budget deal

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Visit Florida will see its funding restored to the current level of $76 million, Scott said, with measures to "increase accountability and transparency" at the agency, which saw its funding drastically cut in the original budget approved by the Legislature last month.

Scott was done vetoing $310 million out of Florida's $82.4 billion budget this week, Flagler County had paid a steep price.

The deal was forged through private conversations over the last few weeks after the regular session ended in early May. Under the deal reached by the governor and lawmakers, the reduced funding for the state's economic development partnership will remain, but Scott will be given $85 million to offer incentives to locating or expanding businesses. Instead, it will be spent on workforce training as well as public works projects such as roads.

Florida leaders said negotiations have been ongoing, but a decision could not be made in time.

The Governor announced he and the legislature are closing in on a budget deal, involving everything from your child's education to promoting Florida tourism. Scott also vetoed $37.4 million that was going to go to homeowners in two counties whose healthy citrus trees were torn down in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker.

Lawmakers will also add about $200 million back into public schools.

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The money will be used to pay for some of Scott's top priorities and to boost money for public schools. The governor had traveled the state, bashing Corcoran and lawmakers who supported his position on incentives. Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, wants to defend his state university initiatives in the budget as well as a related policy bill (SB 374).

There was speculation that Scott might veto the entire budget after lawmakers ignored his priorities.

"Our handsome beaches were devastated by the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill", Scott said in a statement.

However, some senators told the Times/Herald they expect Scott to sign it, and House Republicans who helped craft the bill emphasized Scott's record as a proponent of school choice expansion.

Additionally, legislative leaders have said they would use a special session on the budget to try to resolve an impasse over legislation enacting the November constitutional amendment on medical marijuana.

On the other hand, key appropriations survived, among them $13.5 million for dunes repairs to be split between St. Johns and Flagler, a vital part of county government's funding plan to recover from Hurricane Matthew. Corcoran said medical marijuana is not now on the list of special session issues, but that it could be added over the weekend.

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