Gov. Rick Scott released his list Tuesday of line-item vetoes he plans to make to the 2016-17 budget, including vetoes to Manatee County projects totaling $2.25 million.
The bulk of that money came from a veto of $1.5 million in funding for primary care access in Manatee, Sarasota and Desoto counties. Scott said that was vetoed because funding was available through the Primary
Care Grant Program.
Another $300,000 was vetoed from Port Manatee for security improvements, which was also vetoed by Scott in last year's budget. Scott said it was vetoed this year because it "circumvents the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development evaluation process."
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The Manatee River Fair Exhibit Hall lost $450,000 to Scott's veto pen after receiving $250,000 for the same exhibit hall in the 2014-15 budget. Scott said that was vetoed due to not going through or being a low priority on the competitive review process for those types of projects.
Another $750,000 was vetoed from a HIRE pilot program, which would have served Jacksonville, Orlando, Hillsborough and Manatee. The program would have worked with inmates on career planning, budgeting, social services and life skills in order to more smoothly integrate inmates into society. The pilot would have targeted 5,000 inmates in the four counties. Scott said he vetoed the pilot because it had not been validated as a credible, successful program.
Scott said the total of about $256 million in vetoes represented projects that were not good investments for Florida.
"I will be signing this budget into law as soon as the Florida Legislature delivers it to me and withholding approval for approximately $256.1 million in projects that do not provide a significant return on taxpayer investment," Scott said in a release. "I look forward to another great year in the Sunshine State as we continue our mission to make Florida first in the world for jobs, education and safe communities."
John Tupps, a spokesman for Scott's office, said $91 million in funding for Manatee County survived the veto process. The bulk of that is $85 million in funding for unspecified transportation projects.
Other Manatee County items receiving state funding include:
$3.5 million for LECOM Florida Health Programs.
$750,000 for Centerstone Florida Children's Community Action Teams.
$750,000 for the city of Bradenton Tournament Sports Park.
$500,000 for Centerstone Florida.
$345,000 for the Lake Manatee Water Supply and Water Improvements.
$250,000 for the South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium.
$150,000 to expand a veterans court.
Kate Irby, Herald online/political reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7055. You can follow her on Twitter @KateIrby