The Florida Senate is setting the stage to override Governor Rick Scott’s veto of public school funding. But House lawmakers say the Senate is on its own.
Governor Scott struck the state funding system because he wanted more dollars in per-pupil spending. Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) says he wants to increase spending, too—but the override is an insurance policy to keep the lights on in school systems throughout the state.
“We want to make sure that we have every confidence that if we get into some kind of controversy,” Latvala says, “and we don’t finish the rest of our business, or one body or another doesn’t like the outcome of the rest of our business and decides to go home, that we have this done.”
Latvala is alluding to the House’s decision to adjourn three days early in 2015. And his logic echoes a House move from the regular session this year—offering to pass a so-called continuation budget when initial spending talks reached an impasse.
The Senate’s plan for public school funding revives a funding model allowing property taxes to rise with home values. The governor backed the idea ahead of session, but the House calls it a tax increase.