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Five GOP senators say Scott had no role in 'trigger' defeat

Five Republican senators who voted to defeat the so-called parent trigger bill said Gov. Rick Scott did not lobby them to oppose the controversial legislation. There has been speculation in the Capitol and an unsourced story on one news website that said Scott was instrumental in the bill's failure on a dramatic 20-20 vote Tuesday.

Not true, Republican senators said.

"I  wouldn't say there was any direct contact from his office on his opinion on this," said Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, leader of the anti-trigger forces in the Senate. "There were rumors that he'd just as soon not have it on his desk (but) it really doesn't make any difference, because this was going to be the outcome whether he wanted it or not."

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said he discussed the bill with the governor, but that Scott "wasn't putting any pressure on me." He said his main reason for opposing the bill (SB 862) was that Detert was "persuasive."
Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, cited as a factor in his no vote his frustration that the budget did not include a line-item appropriation that he considered a priority: $250,000 for a public awareness campaign for a ABATE, a
statewide motorcycle organization. He said he had no contact with Scott's office on the issue.
Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, said he spoke to no one from the governor's office on the parent trigger bill and said he opposed it bcause he "had more time to think about it and more information." Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, said he hadn't spoken to the governor or any of his staff on the issue and had been promised nothing for his vote against the bill.

Scott was widely assumed to be opposed to the bill because it would undercut his efforts to be viewed as a champion of public schools. Scott repeated Wednesday he "had  concerns" about the bill, which he did not specify, but he never declared his opposition to it.
A day after the bill's defeat, Detert said she was getting a lot of congratulatory calls and emails. "I think it's probably one of the worst bills I've ever seen, and I hope I never see it again," Detert said.
-- Steve Bousquet, Kathleen McGrory


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Binbad the Bailer

You might see different answers if lying to a reporter was a felony.

A PTA mom

This bill was defeated by a grass root coalition of parents, public education advocacy groups and the PTA. We fought hard against well financed out of state groups, charter shcool lobbyists and Jeb Bush walking the halls in the senate himself.

This shows what can be done when parents get involved and informed and I hope we continue the advocacy for public education in the next year. Hooray for parents and PTA.


"Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, cited as a factor in his no vote his frustration that the budget did not include a line-item appropriation that he considered a priority: $250,000 for a public awareness campaign for a ABATE, a
statewide motorcycle organization." Whaaattt????


I echo Keith: Whaaattt???
Abate? Seriously?


Scott's fingerprints are all over this. Come on, Governor. Come on, Senators. Man up and take ownership.

You pulled it off. You snuggled up to the FEA and flipped off the conservatives and the reformers. Of course, for the Governor, the Andy love will last through the next session, and then the FEA and all its millions will roast you like a turkey. And all the people who got burned on this might even enjoy the spectacle.

Steve M.

Let a school fail 2-3-4 years in a row, no big deal. Why should parents have a say in anything education related. Bottom line each one of them want Scott to sign on to their pet project.

They all are on the do not trust list.


Steve...if parents want a say in schools, the door are ALWAYS open...we just can't seem to get 'em there!

Quimo sabe

the only reason those schools fail is BECAUSE the parents are not involved with, or do not value, their childrens' educaiton. What reason do YOU give for failiing schools?! You can take the entire teaching staff from an 'F' school in a poor neighborhood where parents don't care, and switch them with the staff in an affluent 'A' school and you will get the same results. SO, you advocate giving these uninvolved, and uncaring parents totoal CONTROL over the school that they have caused to FAIL??!!! ABSURD!! This 'parent trigger' bill was ONLY about getting more $ into the operators of charter school. That is it, and that is all.

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