TALLAHASSEE &mash; Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed about $365 million in budget cuts Tuesday, sparing politically popular programs while straining relations with Republican legislators whose decisions he rejected.
Crist said he ''resurrected'' teacher merit pay, tourism promotion and the Florida Forever environmental land-buying program because the cuts the Legislature made "would have negatively impacted the people of our state.''
''The budget I'm signing today,'' he continued, "does tighten our belts significantly.''
While Crist praised the Legislature for its hard work, he received little in return from fellow Republicans who control the Legislature.
The leaders of the House and Senate issued carefully worded statements noting that Crist had the right to veto the cuts. Earlier this month, they held a special session to fill a $2.4 billion budget hole by reducing spending and raiding savings accounts.
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