Lawmakers unhappy with Gov. Scott’s budget vetoes

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Some state lawmakers are angry over vetoes by the governor of their own party.

Rick Scott wiped out $461 million in spending, and some senators came close to accusing him of cutting money to punish people who do not agree with him on various issues.

The governor sided with the House, and opposed the Senate, on hospital funding.

He then vetoed some programs that Senate leaders wanted. For example millions to help people with disabilities.

Lizbeth Benaquisto is majority leader in the Senate, she appeared Wednesday at a luncheon put on by the Chamber of Southwest Florida.

During the session, she rallied support for funding for the disabled. It was a priority for Senate President Andy Gardiner, who has a child with special needs.

“To see the governor veto programs that could have led to college degrees and jobs for the people, is very disappointing,” said Benaquisto.

The governor says he cut the millions because he has to watch out for the interests of the taxpayers. He also claims some items were tacked on to the budget at the last minute. Some lawmakers claim, everyone knows the rules of the game.

“It’s all part of the process. The governor has the veto pen and you know that from the very beginning,” said Rep. Matt Caldwell.

Senator Garrett Richter of Naples believes Scott made a big mistake, by appearing to single out programs, favored by Senate leaders for vetoes.

“To say that I am disappointed in the governor and his veto action is an understatement,” said Richter. “I think the budget we sent the governor was very respectful of his priorities. He took his veto pen in pretty mad fashion.”

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