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Gov. Scott's Message to Other States: “Move to Florida”

PHOTO: Florida might already have surpassed New York as the third most populous state in the nation, but Gov. Rick Scott's inaugural message invited others to "move to Florida," as he outlined his plans for the coming term. Photo courtesy of Gov. Scott's office.
PHOTO: Florida might already have surpassed New York as the third most populous state in the nation, but Gov. Rick Scott's inaugural message invited others to "move to Florida," as he outlined his plans for the coming term. Photo courtesy of Gov. Scott's office.
January 7, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After winning a second term by a percentage point in a nasty race against his predecessor Charlie Crist last fall, Florida Gov. Rick Scott officially was sworn in on Tuesday on the steps of the state Capitol in Tallahassee.

During his 18-minute inaugural speech, the Republican former health-care executive touted small-government policies and pledged to make Florida a national and global leader in job creation.

"I have a message today for New York, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and others: 'Move to Florida,' " Scott said. "We want your businesses to grow and succeed. We want to compete globally, and we want to win."

Florida's unemployment rate has fallen by 5 percent since Scott first took office in 2011 and, according to U.S. census figures, Florida recently passed New York as the third most populous state, adding nearly 300,000 new residents in the past year and now approaching the 20 million mark. Scott credited his fiscal policies as the reason for the increase.

"In fact, this national battle against growing government so intensely affects Florida that we recently surpassed New York as the third largest state," he said. "In Florida, we are proving that government can do better without getting bigger."

Scott promised to cut taxes by $1 billion in his second term, but he also is calling for $1 billion in investments to improve Florida's environment.

"I realize that all candidates for public office talk about how important the environment is to the health of our people and our state," he said. "But talk is cheap. We have to make investments necessary to turn talk into reality."

Scott, who spent $80 million of his own money on both campaigns for governor, will be working with a super-majority of Republicans in the Florida House and Senate. However, he says he won't engage in partisan politics.

Phil Latzman, Public News Service - FL