As Gov. Rick Scott travels the state calling out legislators by name in their home districts for voting against his top priority, legislators are firing back warning the governor to be careful of how far he pushes it.
For the third day in a row, Scott was traveling the state on Wednesday criticizing legislators on one House subcommittee by name for voting in favor of a bill that would kill Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. The bill has a long way to go and it chances of passing the full Legislature are slim. Still, that hasn’t stopped Scott from admonishing House members who voted to allow the bill to continue to be debated.
State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Brevard County, said he knows Scott is heading to his area soon because he is one of nine Republicans on the House Careers and Competition Subcommittee that voted for the bill. But Fine isn’t worried. Instead he sent a preemptive letter to the governor on Wednesday warning him against making enemies and encouraging him to speak with him in person, rather than taking shots at him in the media.
“Economic development is not a concept to me, it’s something I’ve spent my career doing,” Fine said in his letter. “But in my business, I always found the best outcomes come by sitting down in person and finding common ground. Rather than us talking at each other in the media, I’d prefer to talk to you in person.”
Fine added: “We don’t want to be your enemy, we want to be your partners in making Florida the best place in America to start, build, and grow a business.”
This week, Scott has been in Cape Coral, Tampa, Flagler Beach and Panama City to specifically single out lawmakers. Others on the committee say they are expecting the same treatment.
Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, said he’s all for Scott visiting his district, but he said it won’t cause him to back down from his stance on Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. He said it was a tough vote to kill the agencies, but “it was the right thing to do.” He said the House is determined to question whether the government should be involved in handing out taxpayer funding to private companies.