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Crist won't appear with lawmakers at hanky drop

For the first and last time as governor, Charlie Crist won't appear in public with legislators when the 2010 session ends Friday evening. The hanky-drop in the Capitol Rotunda is a legislative tradition, one the governor has attended the past three years.

The session was still going when Crist headed to the Tallahassee airport to catch a flight to Miami to see his wife, Carole. "It ain't going to happen. Maybe it was meant to be," Crist said.

Crist said he had "very serious concerns" about the abortion bill legislators sent him Friday, which would require pregnant women to pay for an ultrasound view of a fetus, regardless of their ability to pay. He also expressed "some concern" about two issues in the budget: a $160-million raid on the road-building fund and cuts to some health and human services programs. "There are some concerns that I have that I want to look at," said Crist, a day after formally breaking with the Republican Party, which controls both houses of the Legislature.

-- Steve Bousquet

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