Florida Gov. Scott Gives Final State of the State Speech

Florida Gov. Scott Gives Final State of the State Speech

"It will force leaders to contemplate living within their means rather than taking the easy way out and just sticking it to the public by raising taxes on families and job creators". The Florida Constitution Revision Commission, which has the power to place issues on the 2018 ballot, is also considering a similar measure (Proposal 72).

But in his final legislative agenda, Scott is backing a modest tax-cutting plan in addition to the constitutional proposal. Republicans have controlled both houses of the state legislature since 1997, and while Charlie Crist defected from the Republican Party while in office as governor, no Democrat has held the governor's mansion since Lawton Chiles. "And, we must acknowledge that, unfortunately, at some point, there will be politicians sitting in this chamber who are not as fiscally responsible as we are today", Scott said. "Fortunately for all of us, the naysayers were wrong".

For Governor Scott, his final State of the State address was bittersweet, evoking a rare bit of humor from him. Other popular themes in his annual speeches have included a reduction in overall state debt, which has fallen more than $5 billion since 2010, and opposition to college and university tuition increases.

"The results speak for themselves", he said.

"Working together, we've created an environment where our private sector has added almost 1.5 million jobs", he said.

The Florida House is wasting no time pursuing one of Governor Rick Scott's session priorities.

"It was like a scene from a bad movie", he said. Recalling his first race for governor, he said to his wife Ann: "When no one else thought I had a shot, you stood by me".

"I have also proposed legislation to prevent drug addiction on the front end, reduce the ability for unsafe drugs to spread in Florida's communities, give vulnerable Floridians the support they need, and ensure law enforcement officers have resources to protect those impacted by opioids", Scott said. He also stressed the need to help solve the opioid crisis, aid recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma and help Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria. He finances it with the case from higher property tax values, but the House is drawing a line in the sand.

Scott also took a swipe at a state system which he said often didn't keep the needs and desires of sexual harassment victims in mind, perhaps referencing in part to what many saw as a smear campaign against Senate staffer Rachel Perrin Rogers, who went public with her allegations Jack Latvala groped her after Latvala and his supporters - as well as various media outlets - alluded to her identity. "Things have to change".

"As Florida's teachers continue to make $9,000 less than the national average in pay, Republicans in Tallahassee continue to expand a failed and discriminatory bonus program that does nothing to help attract and retain the most talented educators for our children", Cruz said.

The speech was largely seen as a positive message as Scott prepares to leave office and considers a run for the U.S. Senate. Bill Nelson, Florida's only statewide elected Democrat, later this year.

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