Aaron Deslatte, The Orlando Sentinel
TALLAHASSEE â€” Lost in the bloodletting that was Friday in Tallahassee, Gov. Charlie Crist did find the time to sign a wide-reaching elections bill (HB 131) that would restore some disclosure requirements for stealthy political groups buying ads trashing candidates.
Besides re-instituting so-called electioneering communication organizations, the bill also makes it easier for overseas military personnel to cast ballots â€” so a veto would have been dicey politically. The reason Crist was considering it? The bill moves back a deadline for county election supervisors to update their voting equipment for the disabled from 2012 to 2016, saving them about $40 million.
He also vetoed a bill (HB 1565) pushed by the business lobby and Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, that would have forced state agencies to send a lot of their draft rules back to the Legislature to â€œratify.â€ Environmentalists and the St. Johns River Water Management District were up in arms about this particular bill, and Crist deep-sixed it.
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