Gov. Rick Scott faces jarring rebuke in legislative budget deal
Gov. Rick Scott traveled the state the last two months calling out legislators for opposing his top budget priorities. He spent more than $1.2 million on ads trying to win the public over to his thinking.
And on Thursday he was even seen making rare house calls to Senators and House members in their offices to persuade them.
Addicted to rehab: A look at Florida's sober houses
On the corner in front of his brightly painted home in the Osceola Park neighborhood of Delray Beach, retiree and newly elected City Commissioner Jim Chard gestures toward a home across the street to the northeast, a “sober house” where recovering addicts live during part of the rehab process.
He points directly across the street to the north to another sober house. He points west. Two more sober houses. His immediate neighbor and the house just beyond to the south are sober houses. “If it were just one house, we would welcome them with open arms,” Chard says, but “it’s destroying neighborhoods.” Chard says there wasn’t a sober house in sight when he bought his home 15 years ago. Today, he calls his neighborhod “the epicenter of the epicenter.” As Delray and other communities around Florida have found out, there are big bucks to be made in the business of housing recovering and relapsed addicts.
Rick Scott enlists state bonds chief in fight for Visit Florida funding
Gov. Rick Scott has distributed a letter by Ben Watkins, director of the Division of Bond Finance, to the House and Senate budget chairmen, warning that cutting Visit Florida could damage the state’s credit rating.
The letter, dated Tuesday, addressed to Jack Latvala in the Senate and Carlos Trujillo in the House, warns that cutting back on tourism promotion has harmed the economies of states that have attempted it, including Colorado and Pennsylvania.
“Even a 2 percent reduction in visitors would result in a loss of $2.2 billion in travel spending and $225 million in tax revenue,” Watkins wrote.
“If funding for Visit Florida is reduced as much as the Florida House has proposed, the credit rating on our cities and counties could be negatively impacted, especially for communities that rely heavily on tourism and tourist-related revenues,” he wrote.