Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed into law the largest budget in state history, a $77 billion spending plan crafted to enhance his re-election prospects, as well as the Republican legislators who crafted it.
Scott didn’t use a scalpel for vetoes, it was a pair of tweezers: $69 million in vetoed spending is less than half his previous low.
Scott did not hold a public bill-signing ceremony— a clear sign that he did not want to draw any more attention than necessary to his decision to veto such little pork-barrel spending.
It was Scott’s most delicate use of the veto pen since he took office in 2011. He vetoed $142 million from the budget in 2012, and $368 million last year.
“He was in a precarious position,” said Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, who championed a number of line-item projects throughout the state.
Hooper said Scott could not afford to alienate his fellow Republicans in the Legislature when he’s in a tough fight for re-election, but he may rile conservatives by his support of more government spending.