As session opens, Gov. Scott aims to cut $1B

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 05:23:51-05

The Florida legislature is back in session Tuesday. 


Governor Rick Scott will have his red pen out again. He’s looking at $1 billion in tax cuts and $250 million in business incentives.


One of the moves many people might like is a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday and another 9 days for tax-free hurricane supply shopping.


Using FaceTime, I talked to State Representative Amanda Murphy of New Port Richey. 


She’s on the road to Tallahassee, and she said she doubts Scott will be able to cut a billion dollars.


“There’s some really good things in that package I think we can talk about, but the other issues that we really need to talk about is the amount of people that have mental illness and drug problems, and the fact that we don’t have enough beds for them currently,” said Murphy.


Gun rights will be hotly debated again this year.


Lawmakers continue to push to a plan that would make Florida an open carry state.


There’s another plan to allow those with a concealed carry license to bring guns on Florida’s public college campuses.


“I have a feeling, on our side, that the Republican majority is definitely for both of those,” said Murphy.


There are many other bills on the table, including environmental protection measures to clean up Florida’s natural springs, with $200 million per year to restore the Everglades.


“We have to get started. First, find out how bad things are and which form we are going to use to study. It’s going to take many steps, but we have to get started immediately,” said Murphy.


Other bills to watch out for involve school testing and the controversial process of drilling for natural gas -- a.k.a. fracking.


One bill would let terminally ill patients use marijuana.


And another is to approve the sale of lottery tickets at gas pumps.


The hope is that 2016 brings more agreement between the state's House and Senate, which is something we didn’t see much of in 2015.