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Rick Scott raises expectations for cutting spending, taxes, fees

110129 Scott-FoxNews  







Scribbles in my notebook after watching Gov. Rick Scott's interview on FOX News today.

1.) In former Gov. Charlie Crist's first year in office, he took aim at his predecessor's record for budget vetoes.

Gov. Rick Scott has set his sights on the entire country.

In a FOX News interview today, Scott claimed he would have "the most fiscally conservative budget" when it is released Feb. 7.

"We're going to make all the tough decisions we should have been making across the country over the last, you know, so many years, which we haven't been doing." Scott said.

Later in the interview, he added: "I'm competing with 49 other governors and 49 other states."

2.) Scott has continued to raise expectations for his budget release, which will set the tone for his first legislative session in the spring and the remainder of his first year in office. He has promised to account for a tax shortfall approaching $4 billion and the $2.2 billion in tax cuts he pledged from the campaign trail.

For good measure, he'll also roll back some fees.

"I'm going to roll back some fees," Scott told FOX's Uma Pemmaraju today. "I'm going to make sure we watch every dollar [and] we are the place to do business."

Scott could be eying some of the $1 billion in fees that his fellow Republicans approved in 2009 to help fill budget holes. We know Scott isn't shy about criticizing the spending plans approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature.

3.) Scott evaded a question about where he would find the money, saying only that he would press for changes to require government workers contribute to the state pension. Scott's 7-7-7 campaign plan identified $1.3 billion in savings from pension changes.

4.) In one amusing moment at the start of the interview, Scott corrected Pemmaraju, who led into a question saying, "You were elected with a mandate to bring about change."

"No," Scott said. "I was elected to be the jobs governor and get the state back to work."

5.) Scott called the 900 regulations he froze "job killers." He didn't mention he has yet to actually kill any of those regulations or that his office has allowed some to move forward.

6.) Scott closed the interview insisting he would "do whatever we can" to repeal the health insurance changes approved by Congress in 2009. He said the changes were unconstitutional and the federal government shouldn't be telling state how to spend tax money.

"They shouldn't be telling me I should spend my money," Scott said. "My job is to figure out how I run my state. They should stay out of that, those decisions."