Gov. Rick Scott is clearly miffed that the state Legislature doesn’t see eye-to-eye with him on tax cuts and the amount of money for Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, but he wouldn’t use the “veto” word in an interview in Broward Monday.
Scott briefly spoke with reporters while visiting Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale for Fleet Week. Scott gave no indication about his timeline for setting a special election to fill the seat of Sen. Frank Artiles and called the retirement of U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen a loss for the state.
Here is a partial transcript:
Q: It looks like tax cuts are far smaller than you had hoped for. How do you feel about that?
“We walked in with almost $3 billion surplus. We have some extra general revenue, the president gave us the low-income pool that President Obama had cut so we have ability to do tax cuts. The right thing to do is give citizens some of their money back. Our economy is booming right now, we ought to give people their money back.
I am very concerned about making sure the Legislature finds$ 200 million to jump start the Lake Okeechobee dike project. I am very focused on making sure they give us $100 million to continue the success we’ve had with tourism in this state. If we want to continue to diversify this economy we've got to continue to fund Enterprise Florida.”
Q: How likely is it you will veto the budget if it doesn’t give as much in tax cuts or Visit Florida or Enterprise Florida funding as you think Florida needs?
“I’m going review the budget like I've done every year make sure it's good for citizens of our state.”
Q: What do you think about the Latest GOP health care plan -- the MacCarthur amendment that would give waivers states. Do you think Congress should pass that and would you want a waiver or Florida?
“I clearly want as much flexibility as possible. We've got to figure out how to reduce costs. The way you reduce costs is you create more competition, you would allow people to buy the insurance they want to can buy, you sell insurance across state lines....”
Q: Would you want them to vote yes on the (health care) amendment?
“I haven’t seen all of it but I know we have to repeal and replace Obamacare. We’ve got to make sure citizens can afford their health care.”
Q: what do you think about Ileana Ros-Lehtinen retiring?
“She is wonderful person. I spoke to her on Saturday. She and her husband Dexter are wonderful people. She clearly cares about her state, she clearly cares about freedom and liberty in Cuba. It will be very difficult to replace her.
Q: What do you think the chances are that Republicans can win that seat. It's now a left leaning seat with tons of Democrats lining up."
“This election going to be about who can do the best thing for the state.”
File photo of Gov. Rick Scott