BREAKING: Special Legislative Session to Address A2 set for June 7-9th

Gov. Rick Scott, legislative leaders reach special session deal

Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders have struck a deal on a three-day special session of the Legislature, tentatively set for June 7-9 in Tallahassee. The session will include proposed legislation dealing with public education, Enterprise Florida, VISIT Florida and medical marijuana, according to a Capitol source. The surprise announcement comes as Scott is preparing his veto message on the new $83 billion state budget.

UPDATE: Governor Rick Scott and the legislature have apparently struck a deal on a three day special session for next week. This will occur from June 7-9th. They have discussed wanting to handle medical marijuana during this special session, however they have not yet added it to the call. They will be discussing education funding, Enterprise Florida, and VISIT Florida.

Florida Cannabis Coalition will dive into this special session tomorrow in Tampa at the CannaDay conference beginning at 10:00 AM at the Cuban Club in Ybor City.

A special session would legislators to implement a constitutional amendment passed by 71 percent of voters in November. It would also give them a chance to rewrite sections of the state budget if needed or override Gov. Rick Scott’s impending vetoes.

"Regardless of what the governor does on the budget, we will come back for medical marijuana and we will address any budget vetoes then if we need to,” said Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, one of the lawmakers involved in backroom negotiations on medical marijuana during the final days of session.

Since session ended, calls have been mounting for lawmakers to return to finish what they could not on medical marijuana.

In addition to Corcoran, more than two dozen state lawmakers have publicly expressed their support for a special session. Sixteen have filed letters with the secretary of state’s office formally calling for the House and Senate to return.

“Ideally, we would go into session with a good idea of where we’d end up,” Flores said. “Quite frankly, we can’t afford to mess this issue up again. We need to get this done.”

The last attempt broke down over a disagreement about caps on how many storefront dispensaries each licensed marijuana grower could open, a feud which caused a very public rift between John Morgan and Ben Pollara, the men who pushed medical marijuana into the state Constitution.

When lawmakers come back, Flores said, she hopes they do not tack any other issues being pushed by industry groups (for example, gambling or workers compensation) onto the call for special session.

“I think any other industry-driven issue can wait until we are back in session in January,” she said. “There aren’t any other issues where you had the overwhelming majority of Floridians go to a ballot box and say, ‘This is an issue you need to take care of.’”

The joint announcement signals the strong possibility of a broad-based deal involving the priorities of the governor and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, who have clashed for several months over the future of Enterprise Florida and VISIT Florida -- Scott's two pillars of job creation and tourism promotion that Corcoran has decried as wasteful and inefficient.

In addition, Corcoran's staff has been talking with Scott's advisers over how to find a middle ground that would include Scott's signing HB 7069, a sweeping education policy bill and a Corcoran priority that surfaced with only a few days left in the session.

Scott, Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, scheduled the announcement for 10 a.m. Friday at Terminal F at Miami International Airport.

Don't Miss The Big Conference in Tampa Tomorrow! 

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