Crist signs elections bill, vetoes Dorworth’s rulemaking one

Aaron Deslatte, The Orlando Sentinel

TALLAHASSEE — 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 — 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 “ratify.” 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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