And that's when it will start to get interesting.
There have been few surprises so far since the 2012 session ended. Scott signed the "inspirational messages" bill and this latest batch of legislation includes an overhaul of the unemployment compensation system and tax breaks, including another small cut of the state's corporate income tax.
But in the next few weeks Scott will sort out the remaining bills from this year and figure out whether or not he plans to go along with many of the ideas that his GOP colleagues in the Legislature acted on.
Not counting his budget vetoes, Scott last year vetoed 10 bills sent to him by state lawmakers, which is actually on par, or even a little bit below other governors in recent years.
Gov. Charlie Crist - who was at war with lawmakers during his independent bid for U.S. Senate in 2010 - vetoed 17 bills his final year in office (several of which were later overridden) and 18 bills in 2007. Back in 2005 then Gov. Jeb Bush a.k.a. "Veto Corleone" nixed some 36 bills sent to him by the Legislature.
It was Bush who told Scott in an email before he became governor that it was okay to veto "stupid bills."
Here then are some bills to watch Scott on in the next few days and weeks:
HB 5301: Back when Scott was campaigning against Bill McCollum in the GOP primary in 2010 he actually came out against what he called mandates being imposed on local governments. Scott told a group of business leaders in Panama City that he did not support strict limits on spending and taxes for local governments, saying at the time "I believe that what Tallahassee should be doing is dealing with Tallahassee issues."
But sitting on his desk is a budget conforming bill that contains a contentious provision that withholds money from counties in an effort to collect $325 million in contested past-due Medicaid billings. County governments have argued this is yet another mandate, an argument that should have some resonance with Scott.
This legislation, however, includes several other changes, including a limit on how many times Medicaid will pay for hospital emergency room visits for non-pregnant adults and a provision that would allow the children of state employees to be enrolled in the state's subsidized KidCare program. Scott must act on this bill this week but there are signs that he will let it become law because it is tied to the state budget. (UPDATE: Scott signed the bill, although in a letter the governor tried to assuage counties that the state would "work diligently" to make sure that all the billings are valid and accurate. Counties, meanwhile, sharply criticized the decision as a "body blow" to taxpayers.)
HB 7129: This is the tuition bill for the University of Florida and Florida State University. If it becomes law the legislation would allow these two research universities to raise tuition annually above the existing 15 percent cap that now exists in state law. The logic behind the bill - which was a top priority for House Speaker Dean Cannon - is to give UF and FSU the financial resources to make themselves more nationally competitive. But the bill also clashes with Scott's oft-repeated line that tuition should not go up this year and that universities ought to give him more examples of spending existing money wisely before hiking tuition. (UPDATE: Scott vetoed this legislation saying it would increase the debt burden of students.
SB 1994: The Florida Polytechnic University bill. This is the legislation pushed by Sen. J.D. Alexander that would officially divorce the Lakeland branch campus of the University of South Florida and turn into the state's 12th public university. Scott so far has refused to take a stance on the creation of a new school, but has expressed skepticism about it. The problem for Scott, however, is if vetoes the bill then he wipes out $16 million in funding, including $6 million for the USF College of Pharmacy and $10 million to allow current USF Polytechnic students to complete their degrees at USF. (UPDATE: In a bit of surprise, Scott signed this legislation into law.)
HB 7117: This is an energy bill that was championed by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. But the legislation - which includes $16 million in renewable energy tax credits - has come under fire by several different groups, including conservative organizations as well as the Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association. Scott during his first two years in office has continued to be skeptical about energy issues, although his main objection has centered around proposals that would raise utility bills in order to pay for renewable energy. (UPDATE: Scott signed this law although he expressed concerned about some of the provisions.)
HB 5011: State Information Technology. For most people outside of Tallahassee, this bill means little. But it's a big deal for the lobbyists and others who make a living off the millions spent by the state on technology. This bill blows up an existing state agency - the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology - and creates a new agency called the Agency for State Technology which reports to the governor and Cabinet. For those who aren't keeping count this would be the third reconfiguration of how the state handles technology issues in the last decade. The legislation also halts and repeals an already begun process to consolidate the state's email service. Rep. Denise Grimsley, the House budget chief, defended the move to get rid of the email consolidation, contending it would wind up costing the state more than anticipated. But it's worth pointing out that Scott himself early on wondered aloud why state government had multiple email accounts as opposed to the way that most businesses handle it. (UPDATE: Scott vetoed the bill.)
HB 945: Broadband Internet Service. This is another bill that not a lot of people kept an eye on. It transfers a federal stimulus-backed program from one state agency to another. But the legislation was pushed into law at the urging of lobbyists who work for a vendor that held a state contract that was not renewed. The Associated Press already reported that the legislative proposal was so closely aligned with the lobbying firm of former Republican Party of Florida chairman Al Cardenas that the Senate bill sponsor referred questions about the bill to a lobbyist working for Cardenas. That same AP story pointed out that the state agency now in control of the program has warned internally that the transfer will require federal approval and could put millions in federal grants in jeopardy. (UPDATE: This bill was signed by the governor.)
HB 937: Legal notices. Just consider this one a bit of a hunch. Scott of course famously shunned newspaper editorial boards during his 2010 campaign for governor. But since that time he has actually taken a keen interest in the news industry, including recent business moves in Florida such as the decision by Halifax Media to acquire papers owned by the New York Times Company. This legislation is aimed at ending a few years of battle over the future of legal notices. The bill requires the online listing of legal notices for no extra charge, but also keeps them in printed newspapers. In previous years legislators had tried to end the use of printed legal notices completely. The final product is supported by the Florida Press Association so it will be interesting to see how the governor responds.