Alimony veto may not be final word

One more day remains in legislative session in Tallahassee

Published On: May 02 2013 04:59:20 PM EDT
Florida State Seal
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed alimony reform legislation that advocates describe as unfriendly to women and families.

One more day remains in the legislative session in Tallahassee and the bill's sponsor is doing his best to save the majority of the legislation.

Scott has been married 41 years. He even tweeted the message on April 19. Hours after vetoing an alimony reform bill, the Governor said he was unhappy with the retroactivity clause in the bill.

"You can go back and review prior agreements," Scott said. "I think you look at everything based on your own experiences. But you try, I try to listen."

The Senate sponsor said she will not try to override the veto, even though more than two-thirds of the Senate voted yes.

"The winners in this issues, basically the ones who won were the attorneys," said Sen. Kelli Stargel.

Women's advocates are ecstatic.

"It's hard to organize the women who were scared to death if this bill passes, because they're scared to speak out," said Barbara Devane, of National Organization for Women. "So, I'm elated that the Governor saw, as we do, this is a very radical bill."

But the fight may not be over. Now, efforts are under way to take the language that the Governor did not object to, amend it to another bill, and try to get it back through the process before the end of Friday.

Representative Rich Workman is making a last minute attempt to save everything but the retroactivity in the bill.

"I'm giving the opportunity to perhaps have another crack at the apple this year where we give the governor the part of the bill he liked," said Workman.

But with an election on his mind, even a pared down alimony bill is not likely to sit well with Scott.

Florida lawmakers are in session through Friday, so the clock is ticking on any chance of an alimony reform resurrection.