Florida governor Rick Scott announced $256 million in budget vetoes today, and projects in Okaloosa and Walton counties are among the casualties.
Legislators finalized a record $82.3 billion budget last week to close out the session.
Scott announced Tuesday that he would veto $1 million in funding for the Okaloosa County Courthouse, saying that funding for county buildings was “the responsibility of the local government.” Scott also vetoed $400,000 in funding for stormwater improvements on Scenic Highway 30A in Walton County, including it in a list of water projects that the governor said “did not provide a clear return for the investment.” Another $400,000 in funding earmarked for the Walton County Fair and Agricultural Education Building was also vetoed. A release from the governor’s office said the project was among those that did not go through, or ranked poorly on, an established competitive review process.
Escambia County fared well, with $1 million in funding for a commerce park at Pensacola International Airport and $400,000 in funding for the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition both escaping the governor’s veto pen. The final budget also includes $12.5 million in funding for prisoner reentry and vocational programs, of which $200,000 is earmarked for Reentry Alliance Pensacola (REAP).