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Rick Scott's $1b savings plan long on promise, short on details

Gov. Rick Scott is in The Villages today, making a "major budget announcement," according to his press shop: A plan to save $1 billion over two years by eliminating regulations, duplication of government services and inefficiencies.

None of the details are spelled out in the 246 words of press release, which note that the Department of Community Affairs will ceded regulatory powers to other agencies (unnamed). The Department of Health will cede regulation of "drugs, devices and cosmetics" to the Department of Business and Professional Regulations, which in turn will give up alcohol-tax collections to the state's tax-collection agency, the Department of Revenue.

How this all adds up to $500 million a year in savings is yet to be seen. Scott unveils his budget Feb. 7.

Meantime, Scott has one believer: Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, who said the real savings can be found in ensuring that DCA, the Department of Environmental Protection and the state's water-management districts "streamline" the permitting process.