In a blistering press release, state Sen. Geraldine Thompson said Gov. Rick Scott vetoed eight projects she supported in the state budget because she doesn’t “think like him.”
“I championed eight projects for appropriations that would benefit low-income and minority communities, all eight were vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott,” she said in a prepared statement.
“Could it be that my district has less need for support than other districts or could it be that citizens in District 12 are overlooked because I do not think like Governor Rick Scott?” she asked rhetorically.
Thompson said her projects included money for the Sankofa Project — which would stabilize African-American historic sites throughout the state — to a move that would fund a Teen Express mobile health unit that provides free health care for teens.
“These vetoes were singled out of a budget that had been vetted and approved by members of the Florida Legislature. Within a ten page veto list, every item I requested was vetoed,” she said.
Thompson said she has seen the “think like me” governor before, when members of the Legislative Black Caucus met with the governor to discuss diversity in his Cabinet.
“He indicated (then) that he would only appoint people who thought like him. Apparently, that mind set also applies to approving appropriations for communities where people by and large do not think like him.”
Thompson said that she opposed the tax reduction package because it contains a tax break for boat repairs upward of $60,000, which she called a “poison pill.” She also noted that she was in favor of Medicaid expansion, which Scott opposed.
“Clearly, I don’t think like him. With his vetoes today, Governor Scott’s actions continue to place politics over vulnerable people.”
Scott’s veto spree caught the ire of several senators, including the mercurial Jack Latvala and Senate President Andy Gardiner.
Scott during the 2015 Regular Legislative Session called senators into his office to discuss his legislative priorities and reminded them that he could veto their priorities.