Attorney Carin Porras, head of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, called Scotts decision to veto the alimony bill courageous and said the measure would have left many women with diminished means, depriving them of their vested contractual rights that their ex-spouses agreed to.
Barbara DeVane of the National Organization of Women, a frequent critic of Scotts policies, praised the veto. It would have opened the flood gates to more litigation, she said. All of these men would have been going back to court to try to get their contracts undone. That would have been unconstitutional and it would have hurt a lot of women.
Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, who is divorced and supported the alimony bill, said he was disappointed by Scotts veto, and added that the bills sponsor, Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, had no inkling the veto was coming.
I told him I think we should work harder to collaborate on these things as they move through the legislative process, Lee said. He said he couldnt agree more.
Scott recently celebrated his 41st wedding anniversary with his wife, Ann, and cited the milestone as a factor in his deliberations. I like being married, Scott said recently. I want to stay married to my wife.
One of the few Republicans who opposed the alimony bill, Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said Scotts veto was good politics. He noted that the governor has struggled throughout his term to connect with women, who often comprise a majority of voters in statewide elections.
Politically, with his numbers so low with women in the state of Florida, I would have told him there were many reasons to veto this bill, Fasano said.
Herald/Times staff writer Kathleen McGrory contributed to this report.