Gov. Rick Scott this morning praised the $69.7 billion budget lawmakers approved, but promised he will veto spending. "I can tell you though that there will be additional savings," he said.
"In these tough economic times we must ensure that every hard-earned tax dollar is used wisely and in a way that will get Florida back to work," Scott said.
But Scott also laughed off a question about why, in the midst of budget cuts, the state spent $8,800 to add his name to 35 "Welcome to Florida" signs. "They look nice," Scott said.
"Look, my job is to promote the state," Scott said. "It's part of promoting the state."
Scott spent a total of 12.5 hours in budget meetings last weekend "looking at each line." He implied he would not consider whether vetoes would antagonize his fellow Republicans in the Legislature who could override his cuts. "I have the constitutional authority to veto things and the Legislature has the opportunity to act in their constitutional authority," Scott said.
In the Cabinet meeting before his press conference this morning, Scott peppered Ben Watkins, the state's director of bond finance, about the state's ability to bond more construction projects for state colleges and universities. At the press conference later, Scott said he would consider that when weighing budget vetoes.
"One of the things I've been concerned about since I came into office is the state's obligations," Scott said. "One of the things I'll be looking at is making sure that I understand, as we go through the process, where we are with our borrowing capacity under PECO."