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Minority Office — Press Release


June 9, 2017

CONTACT: Michelle DeMarco, 850.487.5833

Senate Democratic Caucus to Governor Rick Scott: “Veto HB 7069”

Tallahassee —

Led by Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens), united members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Friday called on Governor Rick Scott to veto HB 7069.

“Signing this bill signals immediate financial peril for our public school system in Florida, and endangers the future of public education in our state,” said Leader Braynon. “We call on the governor to exercise his authority and stop it in its tracks.”

On Thursday, Senate Democrats attempted multiple amendments to restore critical funding to the K-12 system by rerouting state dollars committed to the controversial charter school plan pushed by the House Speaker. While future promises have been made to correct a multitude of problems expected to arise from HB 7069 should it become law, Democrats argue that the better, more pragmatic approach is to preempt them through a veto.

“Aside from the financial dangers, the fatal flaw in this legislation is that it was hatched in secrecy, and never subjected to vetting by the full legislature prior to its narrow passage,” said Leader Braynon. “Even the governor recognized this critical defect, and chastised those who participated in its creation. Propping up for-profit charter companies violates every tenet of our duty to the constitutional requirement of a quality public education for all children, and walks away from the oath we took to ensure its success. We owe no such duty to charter school management corporations.”

As the special session nears its end, Leader Braynon and the Democratic Caucus urged the governor to reexamine the need for such rushed legislation and quash the clandestine measure before the damage is done.

“Dropping this 278-page rewrite of Florida’s K-12 education on the last day of the 2017 session violated every promise of transparency and accountability made by those we task with governing,” said Leader Braynon. “We call on the governor to do what multitudes of parents, educators, school superintendents, and lawmakers are all looking to him to do: Veto HB 7069.”