Florida Legislature's Special Session Concludes
Friday, June 9, 2017
At 4:42 p.m. today, the House and Senate adjourned sine die bringing Special Session A to a conclusion.
On June 2nd, Florida Governor Rick Scott called legislators into a three-day special session this week to address funding for Florida's K-12 students through the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP), to establish a new Florida Job Growth Grant Fund and to increase funding for VISIT FLORIDA. The special session's call was also expanded this week to include legislation enacting the medical marijuana constitutional amendment, funding for repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike and select higher education project funding. Here is how these issues were resolved in negotiations between the Governor and Senate and House leadership:
- $215 million in increased funding for Florida's K-12 students through the FEFP which would increase the per student funding by $100.
- $76 million in funding for VISIT FLORIDA, the state's tourism marketing entity. Legislators also agreed to let county tourism organizations use local bed tax revenue as matching money to draw down state tourism dollars.
- $85 million for a newly-created Florida's Job Growth Grant Fund to promote public infrastructure and workforce training which will encourage more businesses to choose Florida as a destination to grow jobs.
- Passage of Senate Bill 8A relating to the Medical Use of Marijuana, and Senate Bill 6A, the accompanying public records exemption bill, implementing Article X, Section 29 of the Florida Constitution, which allows the use of marijuana by patients with debilitating medical conditions.
- $50 million from the state's General Revenue Fund for repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around the waters of Lake Okeechobee.
- $60 million for select higher education projects previously vetoed by Governor Scott.
These bills will be enrolled and presented to the Governor to allow him to take action before the end of the fiscal year which is June 30th.