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Gov. Scott chides Weatherford on teacher pay raise issue

Gov. Rick Scott's top priority in the current legislative session is a  $2,500 across the board pay raise for teachers, and on Tuesday he took the gloves off and pointedly called out a fellow Republican, House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, for not embracing the idea.

"In  the House, here's what I find interesting. My understanding is the speaker's against the pay raise for classroom teachers," Scott told reporters in a news conference in his office. "But in contrast, he does
across the board pay raises for state workers. Now, look, state workers deserve to be paid fairly. That's why, in my budget, I said they  should get a bonus because of unemployment coming down."

Just in  case anybody missed the point that he was putting heat on Weatherford, Scott repeated the point. "I find it interesting that the speaker's against the pay raise for classroom teachers, but he's okay with an
across the board pay raise for state workers and no performance funding
for universities," he said.

Scott and Weatherford also are at odds over Medicaid expansion, which the governor supports and the
speaker opposes. Weatherford was a featured speaker Tuesday at a Capitol  rally by Americans for Prosperity, which has criticized Scott for supporting Medicaid expansion.

-- Steve Bousquet