Local children's hospital money axed in Gov. Scott budget vetoes

An earmark for a Southwest Florida children's hospital fell victim to the governor's veto pen for the second year in a row.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, R-Naples, signed an almost $70 billion budget into law Tuesday while vetoing more than $142 million in spending items.

Those vetoes included a $1.5 million one for planning and design Lee Memorial's Health System's children's hospital. The hospital – which would be paid for through a combination of bonds and donations – would be the third free-standing hospital of its kind in the state.

Scott vetoed the $1.5 million request last year as well.

The governor vetoed far less than the $615 million he rejected last year.

Scott said lawmakers heeded his warning to give him evidence of why the money was needed and what taxpayers were getting in return.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

POSTED EARLIER

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — Gov. Rick Scott has signed a state budget into law but did not immediately disclose how much he had vetoed out of the $70 billion bill that lawmakers sent him.

Scott signed the spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1 on Tuesday at high-performing elementary school in St. Johns County.

The Republican governor earlier said he didn't expect to match the $615 million he vetoed last year, his first year in office.

The governor says lawmakers and others heeded his warnings to give him evidence of why the money was needed and what taxpayers were getting in return.

He says, for example, that's why he didn't veto nearly $4 million for public television stations this year. Last year, he vetoed that money.

POSTED TO THE WEB

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — Florida Gov. Rick Scott is promising a much lower number of budget vetoes during his second year in office.

Scott will sign a new $70 billion budget into law on Tuesday at an elementary school in St. Johns County.

The Republican governor is also expected to announce vetoes of individual projects included in the overall budget.

Scott told a Jacksonville radio station Tuesday morning that he won't come close to matching the $615 million he vetoed during his first year in office.

The governor says many people have made good arguments on why funding should be spared.

He says for example he would not veto nearly $4 million for public television stations this year. Last year, Scott vetoed money for the stations.

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