Gov. Scott signs $77B budget, vetoes $69M

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law a new $77 billion budget.

Scott signed the budget on Monday, but he also vetoed nearly $69 million in individual spending items included in the budget. The governor has line-item veto power to eliminate spending on specific projects.

The vetoes included money for dozens of hometown projects sought by legislators including money for a Miami observation tower and a dog park.

The overall budget is roughly 3.5 percent higher than last year's budget and includes a boost in money for schools, child welfare and projects to battle water pollution.

Legislators came into this year's session with a $1.2 billion budget surplus. They used some of the extra money on dozens and dozens of hometown projects.

Scott followed through on his pledge to veto a bill that could raise speed limits to 75 miles per hour.

He said last month that he planned to veto the bill in response to pleas from highway troopers and the state's sheriffs.

The bill (SB 392) would not raise speed limits automatically, but would allow the Department of Transportation to increase them when it saw fit.

The bill also allowed the department to raise the limit from 65 to 70 mph on rural, four-lane divided highways and up to 65 mph on other roads.

Legislators only approved the bill after a contentious debate, where opponents said raising Florida's speed limits would embolden motorists to drive faster.

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