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Rick Scott says no to wildflower plate

Florida’s native wildflowers include 263 species that sprout in yards, gardens and along the road, a ubiquity that has relegated the plant to a mostly overlooked status.

That all changed when the flower stormed the political stage Friday after Gov. Rick Scott vetoed HB 265 — a bill that would have increased the annual $15 fee for the wildflower license plate by $10. Scott’s veto sent shock waves throughout the plant world.

“I’m stunned,” said Lisa Roberts, executive director of the Florida Wildflower Foundation.

Scott announced the veto late Friday afternoon. He also vetoed legislation that would have exempted from public records the email addresses listed on voter registration applications, which drew criticism from Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley. “How could I explain to a voter that their email address was provided by me to a complete stranger? Horrible policy decision!” Corley tweeted.

Scott also signed 60 bills, including one that restricts local governments from passing laws requiring businesses to offer employees paid sick time.

But it was the veto of the $25 wildflower license tag bill that seemed downright bizarre. Just last month Scott approved a $25 specialty tag for Freemasonry. And on Wednesday, Scott approved a transportation bill that established license plates for three groups: the American Legion, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Lauren’s Kids, each one having a $25 fee for those who wanted to pay it.

Scott’s veto letter provided no insight into why he was treating the wildflower plate differently.

“Although buying a specialty license plate is voluntary, Floridians wishing to demonstrate their support for our state’s natural beauty would be subjected to the cost increases sought by the bill,” he wrote.
“Why did they get their plates passed and we didn’t?” Roberts said. “I can’t imagine anyone being against wildflowers.”

Roberts said the increase was needed because of a drop in revenue from the specialty plate, which was established in 2000. At its peak, in 2007, the tag raised $325,000. Last year it raised just about $230,000. The money goes to the foundation and helps pay for road side plantings.

Michael Van Sickler, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Comments

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Mike C.

Maybe if it had the Louisiana Iris on the plate Scott would have signed it.

Frank Whitenack

Scott is truly Alvin The Butterfly stomper This is one of the nasty people we have ever had for a Governor in this state.

Timothy Hites

They are being replaced by a new line of plates featuring a picture of a syringe and our new motto: The Lethal Injection State.

whasup

Well, you see, this plate was sponsored by the Senator with Puerto Rican heritage, the Democrat Soto, from the Orlando area on the I-4 corridor. Stomping on Soto's wildflower plate bill fits right in there with his moronic veto of the bill to let dreamer kids get driver licenses.

So this fool, with poll ratings circling the toilet, will run for reelection as the nice guy who hates Hispanic children and wildflowers ... among other things. Which collection of country club and corporate elitist Republicans were flying with him on his wife's jet plane when they told him this was a brilliant move?

I can see the Democrats' ad now in the Governor's race.

M.A. Salfinger

How can you veto a wildflower license plate? This is crazy!

Can't take anymore

If you want to sell a few million specialty Florida license plates I'd suggest the following: a tag with Rick Scott's picture on it entitled "The Nearly Politically Extinct Clueless Jackass." They would not be available after the 2014 elections.

Duh

The veto was because of the sponsor who came out against the Governor when he vetoed a separate bill. Sponsor is a Democrat; all other bills were sponsored by Republicans

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