It’s a deal: Scott expands special to include Lake O and higher ed

Hours before the special session is slated to wrap up, Gov. Rick Scott expanded the call to include repairs to Lake Okeechobee’s Herbert Hoover Dike and higher ed.

The addition of the subjects Friday comes after Scott expanded the three-day special session — focused originally on funding for K-12 education and economic development — to include medical marijuana.

The expansion of the session Friday indicates that, despite much consternation Thursday night prompted by Senate President Joe Negron’s lengthy press conference in which he said he had never agreed to a deal, a deal does indeed exist.

Here’s Scott’s press release:

Today, Governor Rick Scott issued a proclamation to expand the ongoing special session to include funding for repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike and higher education. Click HERE to view the proclamation.

Governor Scott said, “Today, at the request of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, I expanded the call of the ongoing special session so the Legislature can consider investing money for the repair of the Herbert Hoover Dike to help the communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee. For six years, I asked the Obama Administration to fund these important repairs with no results. During this legislative session, I called on the Florida Legislature to provide funding to kick start these repairs. I have also received a commitment from President Trump that the federal government will fix the dike.


“For more than thirty years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have identified areas of the dike that are prone to stability issues and water seepage, and now is the time to fix this problem once and for all. Along with SB 10, a major priority for Senate President Joe Negron, that I signed into law last month, repairing the Herbert Hoover Dike will ensure that future generations of Floridians will not be plagued with safety concerns during flooding events and problems with algae. I urge the Legislature to take up this call and fund these critical repairs.


“Also, today, I updated the call to include higher education funding. Last week, I signed a historic $4.9 billion budget for Florida’s universities, which is a $174 million increase over last year. By adding higher education to the topics that can be considered during the ongoing special session, the Legislature will have the opportunity to modify these issues for my consideration.”