Senate gives Gov. Rick Scott 15 days to sign or veto 68 bills

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After a deafeningly loud interim of silence in which Gov. Rick Scott was left with no bills subject to his review for either approval into law or veto, the Senate has just cranked up the legislative volume: the upper chamber on Thursday afternoon dropped all 68 bills it passed during 2015 regular session on the governor’s desk.

Scott will have 15 days — running until May 22 — to consider bills ranging in topic from body camera recordings by law enforcement officers to exemptions from lobbying registration to a measure that would require some online media publishers to disclose their names and addresses.

The body camera bill makes exempt from public records recordings that are taken within the interior of a private residence; within the facility that offers health care, mental health care or social services; or in a place that a reasonable person would expect to be private. The bill would apply the exemption retroactively.

Also among the bills before the governor are state Sen. Jack Latvala‘s language that would “free the growler” in Florida, i.e. allow for the sale of 64-ounce containers of beer commonly known as growlers in the craft brewing industry.

For its part, the House has not sent anything to the governor since April 16. They are currently in possession of 150 of the 152 bills they passed before abruptly adjourning Sine Die in a provocative gesture during the final days of session.

House spokesman Michael Williams said the House would pursue a measured course and would not drop bills at once.

“The House will send our bills to the governor in batches, which will allow him to have time to thoroughly review them,” Williams told Florida Politics. “This has been the common practice in the past. We do not see any value to drop all the bills at once.”

Reporter Christine Jordan Sexton contributed to this report.


Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at [email protected]