Gary Farmer to Rick Scott: Veto ‘dreadful’ HB 7069
Incoming Senate Democratic Leader Gary Farmer says the state's preemptive actions suggest a COVID-19 storm is brewing. (Photo by Phil Sears)

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A new state senator who is also a prominent trial attorney is telling Gov. Rick Scott to veto a contentious education policy bill, saying it’s a brew of “bad policy” and “a textbook example of a failure in government transparency.”

Sen. Gary Farmer, a Parkland Democrat, wrote a 2-page letter to Scott Tuesday on HB 7069, which critics have said will benefit charter schools to the detriment of traditional public schools.

“This dreadful piece of legislation, if signed into law, would dramatically reduce the ability of school districts across the state to devote resources towards improving our public education,” Farmer wrote.

The bill “would force school districts to give an even split of locally derived capital outlay funds to charter schools.”

Farmer also mentioned how “the process through which this bill was passed also raises some serious transparency issues.”

He said the bill “was fundamentally changed into a 278-page amendment that slashes funding for struggling schools and requires school districts to pay for charter school projects that they cannot afford.”

Moreover, the final product “included provisions that were the subject of some 55 other bills, the vast majority of which either had been voted down in committee or had stalled,” he said.

The bill “also hijacked unrelated issues, such as recess and Gardiner Scholarships for students with special abilities, in a blatant attempt to borrow support,” Farmer added. “That may be the most offensive part of this process, as these issues enjoyed broad, bipartisan support—unlike the other controversial provisions” of the bill.

“… While there are small pockets of good policy hidden within this bill, it is a monstrosity when coupled with the multitude of bad policies that have been included,” Farmer concluded.

Scott was in a Cabinet meeting Wednesday morning, but was expected to meet with reporters later in the day.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Cassandra Holmes

    June 15, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I titally agree, that this Bill should be given a VETO. This bill has multitudes of bad policies included and it will take a huge chunck out of public education. This will HURT our children, Please VETO this bill.

  • Cassandra Holmes

    June 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I totally agree, that this Bill should be given a VETO! This bill has multitudes of bad policies included and it will take a huge chunck out of public education. This will HURT our children, Please contact Senator Scott and ask him to VETO this bill.

Comments are closed.


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