Governor Scott Touts Job Growth at Annual 'State of the State' Address
Published March 6th, 2013
TALLAHASSEE - For members of the Florida legislature, it was time to 'get to work' on Tuesday, as their annual 60-day legislative session kicked off. Governor Rick Scott started the session by delivering the annual 'State of the State' address, his third since he was first elected.
In a speech that focused mainly on jobs and education, the Governor touted Florida's improving unemployment rate and the nearly 200,000 private sector jobs that have been added since he first took office. "I believe Florida will be the number one place in the world for job creation," said Scott in his speech.
State Representative and small business owner Keith Perry, who represents portions of Gilchrist, Dixie and Alachua counties, said after the speech that he thought the Governor hit all the right notes, especially when talking about job creation. "We came up here to do a job, to get people back to work. That's the fundamental thing that we have to focus on, is getting jobs," said State Rep. Perry.
During the 37-minute speech, Governor Scott also recounted his own mother's struggle to afford healthcare, and how that experience moved him to recently announce his support for an expansion of Medicaid under the President's new healthcare law.
It's a move that's not sitting well with some fellow state Republicans, including State Representative Charlie Stone, who represents Levy county and portions of Marion county. "I think his expansion of the Medicaid program is going to ultimately cost the citizens of the state of Florida more than we can bear," said State Rep. Stone. "Anytime you add a million plus people onto a system that can barely support itself today, I think that's just not good for the state of Florida."
At one point in the speech, the Governor also pushed for his proposed $2,500 pay raise for teachers.
Earlier in the day, members of the Florida Senate passed their first measures of the session, one of which will prohibit legislators from going to work for a lobbying firm for at least two years following their term in office.
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