Sunday, 15 December, 2019

Florida Medical Marijuana Legislation Still Stagnating in Legislature

Florida Medical Marijuana Legislation Still Stagnating in Legislature Florida Medical Marijuana Legislation Still Stagnating in Legislature
Christy Curtis | 08 June, 2017, 01:37

Legislators were ordered back to town by Gov. Rick Scott after Scott vetoed almost $12 billion from the new state budget.

The biggest problem is that Corcoran also will hold on to his priority - House Bill 7069, the massive education package that school superintendents, school boards, the teachers' union and parents' groups want Scott to veto.

Other UNF projects that are waiting for approval in the state budget is the Science & Engineering Building renovations ($6.4 million), the Advanced Manufacturing & Materials Innovation ($855,000) and the Jax Bridges Competitive Small Business Initiative ($350,000).

Among the $409 million in projects vetoed by Governor Rick Scott are three line items that would have provided just over $3 million to Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida.

The special session started Wednesday. And because the $20.6 billion base education budget is involved, senators chose to heed a 72-hour cooling-off period that the Constitution requires of the state budget.

Put simply, Negron can't guarantee an outcome in his chamber the way Corcoran can in the House. Negron said the Senate will propose other funding sources for the education budget increase. First taking on economic development and educational funding, the topic of medical marijuana isn't now on theirscheduled agenda.

The deal would serve the political interests of Scott, Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

If legislators can't reach an accord, Florida's public schools could be in danger of losing billions for the upcoming school year.

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Under HB 7069, charter companies would get $140 million to build what Corcoran calls "schools of hope" near low-performing traditional public schools. Scott will have until June 20 to act on the bills he received Monday.

The Senate appeared to be trying to ratchet up the pressure on the House by saying the education funding bill would be subject to a constitutional requirement that the budget be available for review for 72 hours before lawmakers vote.

One of the starkest differences came on education funding.

"The governor has the right and the responsibility to look at that bill and make individual decisions about what he allows to become law", Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said May 8.

Still notably absent from the special session: medical marijuana, which 71 percent of voters approved in November but lawmakers could not agree to implement in the regular session.

But top legislators now say they'll also consider a bill that would spell out how medical marijuana will distributed.

The Senate wanted a more conservative strategy; whereas, the House wanted to take a more open, free market approach.

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