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Rick Scott mum on Internet cafe ban bill

Gov. Rick Scott still isn't saying whether he'll support legislation banning Internet sweepstakes cafes in Florida.

Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Monday afternoon, Scott said he is waiting to see what the Legislature does before taking a position. Reading between the lines, it seems Scott wants to make sure the Senate passes a full ban before being forced to take a stand. (The House passed the ban on Friday.)

"I want to see what they're going to do," the governor said.

Scott, who took questions for an hour, remained hyper-focused on his two priorities of giving public school teachers a $2,500 pay raise and cutting a sales tax for manufacturers.

He also sounded less partisan, talking up relationships with President Barack Obama's cabinet, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “Arne,” as Scott referred to him, called to recommend Tony Bennett as Scott’s new education commissioner.

Other notes:

On the lieutenant governor search: “People are giving me plenty of ideas.” Scott didn’t drop any names.

On Friday’s big Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coast basketball game: “I’d like both those teams to win.”

On the Senate’s Medicaid expansion compromise: Scott supports the idea in principle. “I want to make sure everyone has access to quality health care.”

On gay marriage: Scott wouldn’t say if he supported a 2008 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and wouldn’t say if he supports the ban today. “It’s in the Constitution.”

Scott also said he’s hired a full-time headhunter in his office, and that the headhunter helped find new Department of Management Services secretary Craig Nichols.

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No More Rick Scott

Rick Scott's Columbia/HCA record on healthcare:

-Columbia billed Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Department's TRICARE health care program, and the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program for lab tests that were not medically necessary or not ordered by physicians;

-The company attached false diagnosis codes to patient records in order to increase reimbursement to the hospitals;

-The company illegally claimed non-reimbursable marketing and advertising costs as community education;

-Columbia billed the government for home health care visits for patients who did not qualify to receive them.

No More Rick Scott

In December 2000, the U.S. Justice Department announced what it called the largest government fraud settlement in U.S. history when Columbia/HCA agreed to pay $840 million in criminal fines and civil damages and penalties.

Gator Chomp

1,000 people are laid off in NY and transferred to Florida as part of the relocation of Northrop Gruman making it a net gain of -200 jobs by the Governor's numbers.

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