PINELLAS PARK, Florida - Gov Rick Scott was asked three times by 10Investigates during a stop in Tampa Bay whether he would use his executive power to save several key Department of Corrections programs slated to be chopped on Friday due to a $28 million budget shortfall.
Scott answered questions about impending cuts to felon mental health, substance abuse, and other reentry programs aimed at lowering recidivism rates, but gave no suggestion that he would use his executive power or the state’s robust reserves to preserve the programs.
Scott has pointed the finger at legislators for the funding blunder, but bipartisan interests from around the state have pleaded for him to override the cuts in an effort to help felons prepare for their return to society. Many programs have a strong reputation for keeping former inmates from re-offending.
House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R-Land O’ Lakes) could also move to save the programs this week, but has failed to return a nearly dozen requests for comment within the last few weeks.
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