Ham, Cheese and POLITICS Please

Governor Scott talks Special Session in Jax Beach as protestors chant outside


This week, Governor Scott traveled around the state on his "Fighting for Florida's Future Victory" tour. Stops included Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Meyers, Tampa and Jacksonville Beach. He arrived at Angie's Subs at around 6 p.m. last night, where a gaggle of supporters waited inside the sub shop, and a gathering of protestors stood outside with handmade signs and megaphones. Most protesters, many of whom were parents and educators, toted signs asking Gov. Scott to veto House Bill 7069.

Schoolteacher Shannon Russell, vice president of Duval Teachers United, told Folio Weekly, "7069 will dramatically change public school education."

According to the Florida Senate website, this bill "[requires] that the lowest-performing elementary schools be determined by specified assessment results" and "charter schools are eligible for capital outlay funds pursuant to specified provisions." More simply put, HB 7069 will lower funding for Title I schools while increasing funds for charter and private schools.

Governor Scott will meet with Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who drafted HB 7069, this Thursday. So far the governor has not publicly said whether he will sign or veto the bill, but unconfirmed media reports indicate that he will sign it.

With only 537 days left in his second and final term, Scott hasn't shown signs that he is planning to slow down anytime soon. During the three-day special session on June 7-9, Scott not only made advances in his two pet projects, Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, but was also able to negotiate increased spending for the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. The governor called the special session to discuss funding for Florida's K-12 students, the current state of Florida's job force and spending for tourism corporations. This can explain the push for increased funds for Florida's official tourism marketing corporation (Visit Florida) as well as its official economic development organization (Enterprise Florida).

At Angie's Subs, the governor spoke on specific strides taken for education, job growth and tourism in the state of Florida. "We worked hard this session to make sure we spent your money well," said Scott. "We've been able to dramatically increase funding for K-12." Also on the list of accomplishments Scott touted was a "decrease in taxes by $180 million" and being able to "provide an increase of $100 more funding" for each child attending school in Florida.

Right wing politicians at the event included state Reps. Cord Byrd and Jason Fischer, as well as Neptune Beach Vice Mayor Scott Wiley. All commended Scott on his accomplishments during the special session. Rep. Fisher offered some laudatory words about the increased spending for school children, and said, "It's not just about jobs... but about educating our kids. No governor has spent more time on jobs."

Strains of protestors chanting "7-0-6-9, don't sign the line" could be heard as Governor Scott shook hands, took selfies with young Republicans and spoke about how the future of the Sunshine State looks bright.

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