Scott vetoes $615 million out of state budget while GOP officials kick out people with "Democratic-leaning signs" at budget signing ceremony

The live signing was broadcast by another outlet that would be affected by the veto, the Florida Channel.

Curiously, the Governor urged lawmakers to put the funds for the various items that he vetoed back into the education budget, despite the fact that he called for more cuts to education that the Legislature went along during the session.

Before Scott arrived on stage at the Villages (to the theme song of the 2001 remake of Oceans Eleven) Dave Hart, the Executive Vice President for Governmental Affairs for The Florida Chamber of Commerce, served as the warm up act, where he praised Scott for his targeted tax cuts and for "restructuring" state government.

Representative Marlene O'Toole and state Senator Dennis Hays then followed, with Hays saying, "If anybody doubted Florida's government in the sunshine, they should be here today," alluding to the sunny skies and hot weather.

Except it wasn't in the sunshine.

St. Pete Times reporter Aaron Sharockman reported that residents from the Villages with signs criticizing Rick Scott were not allowed into the facility.

A group was from The Villages Democratic Club was kicked across the street, told by Florida Republican Party staffer Russ Adams that the event was private. The event space was leased by the Republican Party and sheriff's deputies are escorting from the property people with Democratic-leaning signs.

The move raises questions about whether taxpayer money was used for the private event and why Scott would sign a budget that affects all Floridians at a private event.

"We came here to say what we support," said club president Lawrence Shipley, 68. "We support the police. We support public education."

The club claims 275 members and about 20 came to Scott's event.

"Signs that support the governor are allowed to stay, signs that don't are told to leave?" said Bud Webber, 73, of Orlando, who watched the event unfold. "Come on. That's ridiculous."

In a statement, Senate President Mike Haridopolos said, "We respect the constitutional rights of the governor and the Senate will thoughtfully review each of Governor Scott’s vetoes."


Under a sign that read "Promises Made, Promises Kept," Governor Rick Scott signed the 2011-2012 State Budget at the Villages, but not before he made $615 million worth of vetoes.

Among the cuts include $4,799,710 for public radio and television, $12 million for the National Veteran's Homeless Support Group, and $400,000 for a contract related to studying the Supreme Court System, an item inserted by House Speaker Dean Cannon, who saw his dream of dividing the state's highest court into two divisions scuttled by the Senate before the session ended earlier this month.

If the cut for public broadcasting were to go through, the hit to local community radio station WMNF would be around $72,000, roughly 5 percent of its budget, according to Program Director Randy Wind (WUSF radio and television, as well as WEDU television, would also be affected by the cut).


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