In 2011, Republicans will enjoy a veto-proof majority in the state legislature — simply put, they don’t need the governor’s approval.
The Miami Herald reports today that “incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said last week that while he wants to enact more conservative policies, he may not see things the same way as Scott.”
Scott promised to cut $1 billion from the state prison budget as part of his formula to reduce government spending. The Florida Department of Corrections’ budget for 2008-2009 was $2.249 billion, while expenditures amounted to $2.477 billion. An average of 91,000 inmates were in state-operated facilities during that same year.
The Herald continues:
Haridopolos said Senate leaders are open to prison reform, but instead of wholesale cuts, they are looking at other steps to determine prisoners’ means.
On immigration reform, Scott wants an Arizona-style law. Haridopolos is not ready to sign on: “If we choose to go this direction, we’re going to create a Florida-style plan that works for Florida,” he said. “Arizona’s a different state.”
Haridopolos said he supports reviving a law Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed to require women seeking abortions to view an ultrasound of their fetus. Scott supports a law similar to Nebraska’s, which would prohibit abortions in most cases after the 20th week of pregnancy, but Haridopolos will say only that such a proposal will get a hearing. And Scott opposes moving ahead with Central Florida’s $1.2 billion SunRail commuter rail project unless the federal government is willing to contribute more money.
The project, approved by the Legislature in a special session last January, is a priority for the hometown of incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park. Cannon says Scott’s concerns are valid and that he looks “forward to talking with him about it.” [Links added.]
During the Republican primary, both Haridopolis and Cannon supported Attorney General Bill McCollum, Scott’s rival.