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Governor downplays tensions with Florida Legislature over vetoes


The tension between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Senate in light of $461 million in budget vetoes has been well documented.

State senators have called his actions politically motivated and characterized his veto pen as inconsistent.

But you would not know anything is wrong if you asked Scott. Speaking to reporters late Monday, Scott was asked if he feels tension growing between him and other Republicans in Tallahassee.

“Oh gosh, we’ve had five good sessions,” Scott said of working with state lawmakers. “We’ve done 50 tax cuts. We have record education funding.”

Asked again about lingering bad feelings after some of his vetoes, Scott defended his actions by saying he is only doing what he was elected to do: watch out for the taxpayers.

“As you know, I ran to represent the 20 million people in Florida,” Scott said. “I’m going to continue to look out for their livelihood, their taxes. I’m going to make sure we spend their money well in this state.”

State legislators have had a far different view of course.

During a television interview in Orlando, Senate President Andy Gardiner said the governor’s vetoes, including a $15 million project for the University of Central Florida was a shot at their community.

“It's a shot at Orlando, Orange County, Central Florida, those of us who believe in economic development," Gardiner told News 13's Political Connections in Orlando last month.

State Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, also watched his Panhandle district lose millions of because of the vetoes.

"The governor kept his word,” Gaetz said after the vetoes last month. “He said he would punish the constituents of legislators who disagreed with him, and he kept that promise."