HEADLINES : Florida
Scott vetoes four budget-related bills, including hurricane catastrophe fund proposal
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott vetoed four budget-related measures Friday, including one designed to shore up the state hurricane catastrophe fund by selling tax credits to insurance companies.
The so-called Florida Insurance Tax Pre-Payment Program was pushed by banking industry lobbyists and was one of the last budgetary maneuvers by Senate Budget Chairman JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales.
But Scott opposed the last-minute maneuvering.
"The language was not fully vetted through the committee process and emerged late in the budget conference," Scott said in a veto message.
Alexander has said that the pre-payment program was suggested by banks, but that even if the bill became law, it would have required approval of Scott and the Cabinet.
With the CAT fund facing a $3 billion deficit and Florida headed into another hurricane season, Alexander said it made sense for banks and insurers to receive up to $1.5 billion in tax credits over a 10-year period by paying their state premium taxes ahead of time.
Scott also vetoed a bill that would have created "GatorCare," by allowing the University of Florida to implement its own health insurance program. The governor said he vetoed the bill (HB 5009) because its financial impact on the state employees' health care program had not been fully analyzed.