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Sink blasts legislators for caving to special interests rejecting override on drug bill

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink issued the following statement Monday blasting House and Senate leaders for backing down from agreement to override a veto their previously unanimous support of HB 5603, a bill aimed at limiting the cost of workers compensation claims when medications are repackaged.

According to campaign finance reports, as reported by the News Service of Florida, a company that can directly benefit from the bill, Automated Healthcare Solutions, gave more than $1 million to campaign spending accounts head by  incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon. The company also gave the Florida Republican Party another $735,000 and gave Gov.-elect Rick Scott's political committee $145,000.

"This gives the appearance that the Florida Legislature and Governor-elect Rick Scott are getting square with the special interests who funded their campaigns,” Sink said. “This was a perfect opportunity to save taxpayers millions of dollars and reduce workers’ compensation costs for Florida businesses. Once again, Tallahassee business-as-usual prevailed.” 

Cannon said legislators agreed to let Gov. Charlie Crist's veto stand because the measure had received bi-partisan support, including a letter written on Friday by outgoing House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands.