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Scott Powers

Adam Putnam kicking off governor’s race campaign in Bartow, then bus tour

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is kicking off his 2018 campaign with a rally in his hometown Bartow Wednesday, followed by a bus tour that will take him to 22 cities in 10 days.

Putnam, who entered the race May 1 – and is the only major Republican to file thus far – will be presenting his campaign kickoff speech in Bartow, outlining his vision for the future of Florida.

That speech will be at the Old Polk County Courthouse in downtown Bartow, at 11 a.m., followed by a campaign barbecue celebration, provided by his independent political committee, Florida Grown.

Democrats have three candidates thus far, former state Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Winter Park businessman Chris King, and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

The following day Putnam hits the road, visiting Dover, Tampa, Clearwater and Sarasota on Thursday.

On Friday he’ll be in Naples and Fort Myers.

On Saturday the Putnam tour will hit Sebring and Okeechobee.

There will be no campaign events on Sunday. On Monday Putnam will visit Riviera Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.

On May 16 he will be in Vero Beach, Merritt Island, and Altamonte Springs.

On May 17 the Putnam tour will visit The Villages and Jacksonville Beach.

On May 18, he will be in Fernandina Beach and Panama City.

On May 19, he’ll be in Pensacola, Destin, and Graceville.

And Putnam will wrap up his bus tour May 20 in O’Brien.

David Smith raises another $15,000 in House District 28 race

Republican David Smith has raised another $15,600 in his campaign for the Florida House District 28 seat being vacated by incumbent Republican state Rep. Jason Brodeur.

Smith’s April fundraising tally is his third straight strong month, following a $21,300 haul in March and $25,000 he lent his campaign to kick it off in late February. With about $7,200 spent on EM Campaigns of Tallahassee, Creative Direct of Virginia, Smith entered May with more than $54,700 in the bank.

His now lone Democratic opponent Lee Mangold of Casselberry raised just $775 since filing on April 24. Another Democrat who had filed, Devin Perez of Oviedo, withdrew last week.

HD 28 covers northeast Seminole County, including Smith’s home in Winter Springs.

Smith, 56, said he added 140 new donors to his base, including numerous veterans who work in Central Florida’s simulation and training industry, where the former Marine Corps colonel was once director of the Marine Corps’ modeling and simulation center at the University of Central Florida’s Research Park. Those donors, he said, include several general officers.

“What might be somewhat noteworthy is that my financial support is coming from friends, not big corporate donors or PACs. This was my strategy from the outset of the campaign in order to establish a solid ‘grass roots’ base of support,” Smith stated in an email to Orlando-Rising.com. ” I’m pleased with what we’ve accomplished at this early point in the campaign.”

Aramis Ayala argues that Rick Scott can only reassign cases with consent

In her new response to Gov. Rick Scott‘s argument in their Supreme Court battle over power, Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala contends that the Florida Constitution is clear that she has absolute power over all criminal cases in her jurisdiction, and that the governor can only override it with her permission.

The issue is whether Scott has the power to reassign first-degree murder cases from Ayala’s 9th Judicial Circuit to Ocala’s State Attorney Brad King‘s 5th Judicial Circuit after Ayala announced she would not seek the death penalty in any cases.

Scott argued in his April 26 brief that that the governor has the executive power to reassign cases from state attorneys if there is a good reason.

Yet Ayala argues, in a brief filed Monday, that all the key cases Scott cited, and Ayala’s previous record that Scott cited, all have something in common that the first-degree murder cases he reassigned do not share:

In all the other cases, the state attorney consented to or even requested that the governor reassign cases, while in the 23 cases at issue in Florida Supreme Court battle of Aramis Ayala versus Rick Scott, she gave no consent or made no such requests.

“As Ayala explained in her petition, ‘if a state attorney voluntarily cedes the power to prosecute, the state attorney has herself given the power to prosecute to another, so there is little concern of gubernatorial overreach’ and likewise, ‘if the person who ‘shall’ prosecute cases is unavailable, then the governor offends no constitutional power by naming a replacement.’ Ayala has only ever argued that the Constitution does not tolerate transfers of cases from a qualified state attorney who opposes transfer,” he brief states.

The difference is clear, and so is the reason why, Ayala’s response, filed by Tampa attorney Marcos E. Hasbun and Washington D.C. attorney Roy L. Austin, Jr. It cites the Florida Constitution which gives the state attorney full authority over all criminal cases in that circuit.

“Scott ignores the constitutional mandate that state attorneys “shall” prosecute local cases,” the response states.

And that means a key provision of state law, Section 27.14, that allows for the governor to reassign cases, flies in the face of the Florida Constitution, Hasbun and Austin argue.

“Because Florida’s Constitution is the supreme law of the State, the fact that it does not permit transfer here means that no state law—including Section 27.14—can change that. The Constitution is alone sufficient to resolve this case,” they state.

They also note that Scott has been inconsistent in his state opinions about the power, stating that on at least four occasions his office has advised private citizens that the governor did not have the power to reassign criminal cases without the consent or request of the state attorney who has jurisdiction.

“Either Scott was being less than honest with these citizens or his view has suddenly changed. In his Opposition, Scott now claims that he can reassign state attorneys against their will whenever he wants, and for whatever reason he wants, as long as doing so is not ‘without any reason whatsoever.’ How does that square with the Constitution’s directive that each state attorney ‘shall be the prosecuting officer of all trial courts in [her] circuit,’ or with the traditional notions of independent prosecutors? It doesn’t,” Ayala’s response argues.

The new brief also argues that Scott cannot claim that he has the power to reassign cases because he also has the power to suspend state attorneys  for “malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony,” and reassigning cases seems like a much lesser version of that action.

Scott has never accused Ayala of any of those things, her attorneys suggest, adding, “nor could he, particularly given that he concedes that Florida law never requires a prosecutor to seek the death penalty, even when all aggravating factors are met.”

Andrew Gillum’s campaign money now tops $1 million

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum announced Thursday that his official and unofficial campaign funds have combined to top $1 million in his quest for election in 2018.

The Gillum for Governor campaign and its aligned political committee, Forward Florida, have raised a combined $1,051,473 through the end of April, from more than 5,600 individual donors, and have $743,827 cash on hand, his campaign announced.

That means he had a combined income of just over $200,00 in April, though the campaign did not release specific numbers for either committee, and they have not yet been posted on the Florida Division of Elections website.

“Floridians are excited about the Gillum for Governor campaign, and our monthly fundraising report underscores their enthusiasm,” chief strategist Scott Arceneaux stated in a news release. “We’re on track to have the resources necessary to compete in all 67 counties and continue sharing Andrew Gillum’s fresh vision of a clean break from the old ways of governing Florida.”

The early money certainly assures an early campaign infrastructure, including Arceneaux, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party. Yet the statewide campaign is likely to cost in the tens of millions of dollars. The last Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Charlie Crist in 2014, spent more than $40 million in his campaign, and was outspent, and lost.

One of Gillum’s Democratic primary opponents, Winter Park businessman Chris King, raised $1.2 million in March, and has not yet announced any April figures. The other, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, just entered the race Tuesday and has not announced or filed any campaign finance numbers.

And newly-announced Republican candidate state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam entered the race on Monday with $7.7 million in his Florida Grown Political Committee at the end of March.

House argues prosecutors have no discretion on death penalties

In a friend of the court brief bound to raise state attorneys’ eyebrows throughout Florida, the Florida House is arguing that prosecutors have no discretion with regard to capital punishment, that the state Legislature’s intent was to rest all discretion with juries.

The House filed the brief in the Florida Supreme Court case of Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala versus Gov. Rick Scott. The issues, in that case, are whether prosecutorial discretion gives Ayala the power to refuse all capital punishment prosecutions, as she’s done; and whether the governor has the right to strip capital cases away from her, as he’s consequently done.

The brief, filed late Wednesday, argues that a state attorney is not the one to decide on death penalties. It contends the state attorney’s role is more clerical, to review facts of a case to determine if aggravating circumstances exist that could merit a death penalty, and then leave the decision of death or life in prison entirely up to the jury.

The House of Representatives is one of the numerous bodies filing amicus curiae briefs in the case, indicating the enormous ramifications the legal battle holds for prosecutors, the governor, and the Florida Legislature. Among others expected is a dissenting brief from several Democratic members of the House and Florida Senate.

The official House brief declares, “the policy of this State, reflected in legislative enactments, reserves to the jury — speaking for the community and reflecting that community’s values — the threshold decision whether death should be an authorized punishment for a capital murder conviction. A state attorney, by contrast, has no authority to abrogate the Legislature’s death penalty policy within her circuit.”

Ayala’s lead attorney, Roy L. Austin Jr., called the House argument “stunning.”

“This is a stunning position that calls for an unconstitutional interpretation of the Florida statutes, not to mention contradicting the positions and pleadings from the governor, the attorney general, the FPAA and every state attorney in Florida,” Austin said in a written statement to Orlando-Rising.com.

On March 16, Ayala, the newly-elected state attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit, covering Orange and Osceola counties, announced that she had reviewed Florida’s laws, court decisions, and the opinions of various parties to conclude that Florida’s death sentence law was not just for anyone, so she would not use it. Scott responded by stripping 23 cases from her and reassigning them to State Attorney Brad King of Florida’s 5th Judicial Circuit.

Ayala sued, both in the state Supreme Court and in U.S. District Court, asserting her rights under the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, and challenging Scott’s authority to reassign cases if she had not violated any laws.

At issue in most of the filings so far is whether prosecutorial discretion could be exercised before or after Ayala or any other prosecutor reviewed all the facts of the case and weighed aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

But the House argued that the prosecutor does not have discretion, even after he or she reviews the facts of a case. That could fly in the face of the common practice among prosecutors, who often weigh a number of factors, from victims’ families desires to potential plea bargains, in deciding whether to pursue death penalty prosecutions.

In the brief, a section title lays it out bluntly: “The Legislature’s capital sentencing scheme leaves no discretion to the state attorney to assess whether death should be an authorized punishment in a capital murder case.”

In another argument that may make state attorneys uncomfortable, the House also challenged the independence of state attorneys.

Citing a 1939 Florida Supreme Court Decision and several statutes, the brief argues that a “state attorney in this State is not merely a prosecuting officer in the Circuit in which he is; he is also an officer of the State in the general matter of the enforcement of the criminal law. … It is the State, and not the County, that pays his salary and official expense. And when a state officer like the petitioner refuses or is unable to follow the State’s policies as set by the Legislature, the Legislature fairly can expect that either the Governor, or a chief circuit judge, will find someone who will.”

Barbara Poma, foundation, to develop national memorial, museum at Pulse site

The owner of the Pulse nightclub announced Thursday her newly formed foundation will seek to develop a national-caliber memorial and museum campus on the site of America’s worst recorded mass shooting.

Barbara Poma pushed through the pain of last year’s tragedy to declare her new foundation’s motto, “We will not let hate win,” and announced the creation of the OnePulse Foundation, which will raise money and work with the community to plan, develop, build, operate, and maintain the memorial in Orlando.

“We have come so far in these 11 months. I can say finally that I am finding hope and inspiration by being back here at Pulse,” Poma said. “Pulse has become part of you, and you a part of Pulse. What was once our little corner at Kaley [Street] and Orange [Avenue] is now shared with the world. Together, we are all part of Pulse’s future, right here on this property.

“I know that my goal is to ensure that Pulse becomes a place of healing, It’s time for Pulse to contribute to the community in a permanent way, a healing way,” she added.

She and other key members of the effort, including foundation board chair Earl Crittenden and early organizer Jason Felts offered no details on what might be built, when it might be opened, how much it might cost or how much money they expect to raise. All of that went into the to-be-determined category, for the site the city of Orlando nearly purchased last year before Poma decided she wanted to take the memorial effort in another direction.

That will be “an iconic, meaningful, national memorial to the victims, the survivors, first responders and medical professionals,” Crittenden said.

Poma founded and owns the popular gay nightclub where Omar Mateen, the gay-hating, ISIS-pledging madman, murdered 49 people and wounded 53 others during the horrific morning hours of June 12.

The effort will be overseen by a board of trustees including entertainer Lance Bass, retired NBA player Jason Collins, Virgin Produced CEO Felts, Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis, DeVos Sport Business Management Program Chair Richard Lapchick, former U.S. Ambassador Robert Mandell, and a number of business, law, arts, and community leaders throughout the Central Florida area.

Their mission, Poma and Crittenden said, is to have the community develop the vision for the memorial and museum, which would house artifacts and tell the stories of Pulse’s patrons, including those who died.

That will begin with collecting the thoughts and wishes of the families and survivors, and of the first responders and medical teams who were involved in saving lives after the shooting, Crittenden said. “We will also capture the community’s thoughts which of course are of critical importance,” he added.

Victims’ families: Aramis Ayala shut us out; prosecutors group: She abolished capital punishment

“Unlike every other amici in this litigation, the Family Members’ right to be heard is not hypothetical, it is not philosophical, it is not past – it is real and present.” Thus opens a friend of the court brief filed Wednesday by the families of victims of seven homicides in the balance of the Florida Supreme Court case pitting the powers of Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala and Gov. Rick Scott.

The families brief, guaranteed by Florida law “and fundamental standards of decency in a modern society,” the brief states, was one of two filed Wednesday by friends siding with Scott, supporting his actions to strip first-degree murder cases from Ayala and reassign them after she pledged she would not seek death penalties.

The families’ brief connotes emotion and loss along with legal arguments. The Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, also does not mince words, arguing that Ayala tried to “abolish” the death penalty in her 9th Judicial Circuit, and that Scott responded prudently.

Both entered briefs in a case in which Ayala is challenging Scott’s power to issue 23 executive orders stripping away her cases and reassigning them to State Attorney Brad King of Ocala.

The family members are families of 9th Judicial Circuit homicide victims Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton, Sadie Dixon, Darrell Avant Jr., Jasmine Samuel, Elena Ortega, Alexandria Fransa Chery, and Teresa Ann Green.

The family members maintain they are not pressing an argument for or against capital punishment. Rather, they argue the families’ have the right and need to be heard out by prosecutors – for “meaningful participation” – before a decision is made whether to pursue a death penalty prosecution. Ayala, they argue, negated that right with her blanket declaration in March.

“The Petitioner’s preemptive strike against secondary victim input for capital punishment silences those with a substantial right to be heard. Petitioner’s declaration that she will not seek the death penalty in cases handled by her office is not a proper exercise of discretion; rather, it is an exercise of bias,” the argue. “For these Family Members, there is ample ‘good and sufficient reason,'” – the legal standard to support Scott’s executive orders.

And the families added that “because each homicide presents different victims, different secondary victims, and different circumstances, consequential participation and partnership is an indisputable force for better mental health outcomes in secondary victims. Shutting out, preempting, and disrespecting individual survivors’ views on capital punishment– pro or con – in their cases is an indisputable violation of the Family Members’ constitutional rights and inflicts unnecessary, compounded pain.”

The Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association represents Florida’s 20 elected state attorneys [including Ayala and King] and more than 2,000 assistant state attorneys who work for them.

Their brief reads at times like a prosecutor’s opening statement in a murder trial, even declaring the guilt of the suspect whose case started Ayala’s tribulations and led to a firestorm of backlash: that of Markeith Loyd, which has not gone to trial, so he has not been convicted of the homicides for which he has been charged, Clayton, Dixon and Dixon’s unborn fetus.

“On March 16, 2017, State Attorney for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, Aramis Ayala [“Ms. Ayala”], announced she would not seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd [“Mr. Loyd”], who not only murdered his pregnant ex- girlfriend, but also was caught on camera shooting and wounding a police officer, then as she laid on the ground wounded, fighting for her life, he walked up and executed her,” the prosecutors argue. “Despite the vicious and heinous murders of the two victims, Ms. Ayala decided that she would not seek the death penalty in not only these two cases, but not in any case during her time in office.”

Florida statutes and Florida Supreme Court presidents show Scott has the authority to reassign the potential capital cases for any “good and sufficient reason in order to see that the laws of Florida are faithfully executed,” the prosecutors argue.

“Additionally, this Brief illustrates Ms. Ayala’s lack of discretion and authority to disregard consideration of the death penalty in all cases. Specifically, Ms. Ayala effectively abolished the death penalty in the Ninth Circuit by implementing a hard-and-fast rule that removes her decision-making on a case-by-case basis, which is beyond the scope of her prosecutorial independence and discretion,” the prosecutors argued.

Gwen Graham vows to push for solar while installing panels

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham spent a good part of Wednesday installing solar panels on roofs in Orlando, while vowing she’ll do all she can to make the Sunshine State a solar energy leader.

It’s not one now.

Florida’s solar energy generation per person falls somewhere between Illinois and Ohio, well behind such un-sunshiny states like Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Delaware, and New Jersey, and far, far behind the national leaders of Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada, according to CleanTechnica.com, a renewable energy news website.

“We need Florida to be the solar capital of the world. We need to be encouraging the use of renewable energies. And we are the Sunshine State as we stand here on the roof in the direct sunlight, and we should be using the sun that Florida receives to cut down on our need for other energy sources,” Graham said.

Graham was on the roof of homeowner Ruben Garcia in east Orange County Wednesday afternoon, taking part in one of her “Work Days,” a tradition she borrowed from her father, former Gov. Bob Graham, regularly spending a full day working someone else’s job, to learn what Florida workers do.

She announced her candidacy for governor in the 2018 election on Tuesday.

Garcia and some of his neighbors are part of the Orange County Solar Coop of Fl SUN, to bulk-purchase solar energy equipment for their homes at bulk prices.

Graham and officials of the solar contractor she was working with, ESA Renewables, said Florida must change its law that prevents third-party owners. The law prevents companies from underwriting (and then owning) residential and commercial solar energy generation equipment, in exchange for charging the property owners for the energy they produce, at rates discounted compared with traditional power companies.

“That’s something that other states. They don’t have that prohibition. I think there are four other states that prevent third-party ownership. It makes it far more challenging for people to take care of solar energy,” she said.

Justin Vandenbroeck, a senior project developer for ESA, said the typical rate for solar power equipment installation runs about $3.50 per watt. [Garcia’s coop is getting a rate of $2 per watt.] It takes equipment, he said, to generate anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 watts to service a whole home. That’s about $20,000-30,000 per house.

While homeowners’ energy bills could go away entirely, at that price, it could take 10-20 years for payback.

It’s why states with third-party solar power owners have far more solar energy in place, he said.

Solar energy is only part of her environmental record and platform Graham pushed Wednesday.

She said she supports repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike, for which Republican Gov. Rick Scott is seeking to fund, but said that project stands alone in efforts to clean up the Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades.

Graham also said Republican Senate President Joe Negron‘s plan is a good start, albeit a “very small” one.

“I think we need a comprehensive approach to the Lake Okeechobee issue. We certainly need to repair the Hoover Dam. I don’t believe we can focus on just bringing water south or just repairing the dam. We need to bring people together to develop a comprehensive solution,” she said.

“We’ve got to get good, smart people, who care about the environmental future of Florida. The Everglades are the environmental heart of Florida. We need to get good, smart people back together again who are just focusing on how do we reverse course,” She said. “I think the Negron plan is a good start, but a very small start.”

One difference she has with Negron, she said, is she does not think there should be a prohibition on Florida using eminent domain to address Everglades cleanup.

“We don’t want to be limiting the state of Florida in terms of what we need to be doing with our environment,” she said. “We have a long ways to go to get our environment back to a healthy state. Clearly, the last six years have been the worst in our environment’s history.”

Rick Scott declares opioid emergency in Florida

Rick Scott is declaring a public health emergency across Florida due to the epidemic of heroin and other opioids abuse, addiction, and overdose deaths wracking the Sunshine State.

While the governor signed an executive order Wednesday following action by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which declared a national opioid epidemic, it comes months after Democrats and a few others around the state urged him to declare an emergency.

Scott’s order will allow state officials to immediately draw down on more than $27 million in federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, awarded to Florida April 21.

Scott’s office said that before that grant award, Florida could have faced months of delays in distributing the money to local communities.

Also, Scott’s executive order calls on Florida Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip to issue a standing order for Naloxone, an emergency treatment for opioid overdoses. Naloxone can be used by first responders as an effective and immediate treatment for opioid overdoses.

Scott also directed the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to meet with communities in Palm Beach, Manatee, Duval and Orange counties to identify additional strategies.

“I know firsthand how heartbreaking substance abuse can be to a family because it impacted my own family growing up,” Scott stated in a news release. “The individuals struggling with drug use are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends and each tragic case leaves loved ones searching for answers and praying for help. Families across our nation are fighting the opioid epidemic, and Florida is going to do everything possible to help our communities.”

In 2015 opioids were blamed for more than 3,900 deaths in Florida, according to Scott’s order.

And indications are it has become worse since.

On Tuesday, an Orange County heroin and opioid task force assembled by Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Sheriff Jerry Demings heard that treatment of patients with an opioid addition at Aspire, the county’s mental health and substance abuse contractor, has more than doubled since 2015. According to the Orlando Sentinel, it was fueled by a 450 percent increase in heroin addictions.

Attorney General Pam Bondi said the governor’s declarations would “help strengthen our continued efforts to combat the national opioid epidemic claiming lives in Florida by providing additional funding to secure prevention, treatment and recovery support services.”

Rick Scott wants budget this week, no commitment on veto

In Lake Mary to preach support for three budget priorities he’s not getting yet, Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he wants to see the Florida Legislature adopt a budget yet this week and would not commit to vetoes if he he doesn’t get what he wants in it.

Scott made the first of 10 stops on his three-day “Fighting for Florida’s Future whirlwind tour of Florida at PowerGrid Engineering in Lake Mary and delivered much the same presentation he’s been making for a couple of months, pushing for support of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, and urging people to call lawmakers who oppose full funding for them.

In this tour he’s adding a push for money for refurbishment of the Herbert Hoover Dike on Lake Okeechobee, but otherwise sticking to a script he used in numerous appearances around the state since March: crediting his economic development corporations with driving Florida’s growing economy, and warning of economic and tourism stagnation without them.

Yet as the Florida Legislature struggles to complete its annual budget bill in time for the scheduled end of the session on Friday, making an extension or special session more likely, Scott said he still wants and expects a budget this week.

And if he doesn’t get what he wants, $200 million for the dike, $100 million for Visit Florida and $85 million for Enterprise Florida?

“As governor you have a lot of options. As you know, I have the option to veto the entire budget, and I can go through every line and try to veto that. So I have a lot of options. I’m going to go through and make sure we do the right thing for our families,” Scott said.

Right now the budget appears to call for no money for the dike or Enterprise Florida and $25 million for Visit Florida, the latter two projects strongly criticized by House Speaker Richard Corcoran and others as bloated and out of control with their heretofore not-very transparent spending.

Yet Scott argued that both programs drive economic development in Florida, crediting Enterprise Florida with 900 companies moving or expanding here, and crediting Visit Florida with pushing Florida’s annual visitors totals from 80 million to 113 million, saying he wants 120, 125 or 130 million, which is why he proposed increasing Visit Florida’s budget from $80 million to $100 million.

“We have three days left. This is our chance,” he said.

“We can get jobs. Call your legislators. Call them and say, ‘We’ve got to fund economic development,'” Scott added. “We’ve got to market the state…. and we’ve got to finish the dike so we don’t have that green guacamole.”

The dike may actually require another $600-700 million on top of the $200 million Scott sought this year. The governor said he has a commitment from President Donald Trump to provide money to complete the dike by 2020 if Florida gets it started.

Scott also slammed the Florida Legislature budget talks as secretive, saying he does not know what is or is not in the budget.

 

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