Florida Governor Rick Scott

FL House Finance & Tax Committee
Nick Evans

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is touring the state in support of his plan to cut cable and cellphone taxes.  He’s finding support in the statehouse but some lawmakers would prefer more targeted tax breaks.

The Governor is making noise about a proposal to lower Floridians’ taxes by more than $600 million.  The response from Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) chair of the House Finance and Tax committee is effusive.


It’s not unusual to see a little shuffling in the governor’s office and state agencies after an election. There are new directions to go in, and favors to repay. But some of the changes lately have looked less like a shuffle and more like a new deck of cards. Now lawmakers and cabinet members are questioning how the deck is being stacked.

Florida Governor Rick Scott left raises for state workers out of this year’s budget. But State Representative Mark Pafford (D-Palm Beach) says he thinks those workers deserve to be better paid.

Governor Rick Scott presented this year’s budget on Wednesday. Absent was a pay increase for state employees. Scott had considered giving bonuses for good work last year. He blames lawmakers refusal to approve that money last year for omitting pay raises this year.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Governor Rick Scott's office has released its account of the circumstances that led up to the resignation of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

The department reports to Governor Rick Scott, who recently appointed a new Commissioner to the agency's top job: Rick Swearingen.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott
State of Florida, Meredyth Hope Hall

In a bit of revisionist history, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is claiming victory in his efforts to create 700,000 jobs.  But the state’s job growth doesn’t quite meet Scott’s 2010 campaign promise.

Scott, or more specifically, his press office brags “We did it!” in a Friday press release.  Since December 2010, the state has added just over 715,000 jobs, and Scott’s administration says it has fulfilled its promise of 700,000 jobs in seven years.

And it did it three years early. 

Agriculture Commissioner Putnam's Tree
Nick Evans

Florida Governor Rick Scott is the proud recipient of a Florida-grown Virginia Pine Christmas tree.  Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam presented the tree Tuesday as part of an annual tradition promoting Florida agriculture.

Florida may be better known for its palm trees or perhaps its orange trees.  But right now in the midst of the holiday season, Commissioner Putnam is highlighting another bit of Florida timber.

Capital Report: 11-07-2014

Nov 12, 2014

As you've probably heard, Florida Governor Rick Scott has been re-elected...So what can we expect him to do over the next four years?

We get predictions about Scott’s next term as governor from reporter “William March” of the Tampa Tribune and University of South Florida political science professor Dr. Susan MacManus.  They spoke with Carson Cooper from member station WUSF in Tampa.

When it comes to transparency, Florida Governor Rick Scott hasn’t always been crystal clear. So says President of the First Amendment Foundation, Barbara Petersen. She says some of that stems from the governor’s long history working in the private sector.

“We had a few bumps along the way there early in the administration if you remember," Petersen says. "We had problems getting access to the transition team e-mails and it turns out they had been deleted. The governor did a good job of trying to go back to get those e-mails – the ones he could."

Florida's unemployment had been declining rapidly until December 2013.  Since then it's been hovering near 6.2 percent.
FRED - Federal Reserve Economic Data

Perhaps the most common refrain in the Florida governor’s race has been jobs – how many current Gov. Rick Scott has created and how many former Gov. Charlie Crist lost.  But despite painting himself as a job creator, Gov. Scott has presided over ten straight months of stagnant unemployment numbers. 

If you’ve been in Florida this last month and you’ve got a pulse you’ve probably heard Gov. Scott talking about his record on jobs.  It’s been a consistent, doggedly verbatim talking point throughout the campaign and at each of the three televised gubernatorial debates.


The presence of an electric fan onstage during Wednesday’s second gubernatorial debate caused an uproar when Governor Rick Scott initially refused to debate Crist over the presence of the oscillator.

Debate organizers say the presence of electronic devices, including fans, was not allowed.   A handwritten note added to the debate contract by the Crist camp requesting the fan’s presence," with the understanding that debate hosts will address any temperature issues with a fan if necessary," was not approved. 

A sign saying Vote Here
Erik Hersman / Flickr

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and gubernatorial opponent Democrat Charlie Crist are neck and neck according to the latest poll by Quinnipiac University. Voters remain divided between the two major party candidates.

The poll shows 44 percent of likely voters favor Scott, while 42 percent would pick Crist. Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie has support from 8 percent.

But Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Poll Peter Brown says he expects Wyllie’s 8 percent to fade come election day.

Citizens Property Insurance

Citizens Property Insurance CEO Barry Gilway is grounded. Gilway got a scolding from members of the Florida cabinet Tuesday who say the state-backed insurance company is spending too much money on overseas travel.

Gilway says he understands the state’s largest property insurer suffers from a damaged reputation. But he says since he came on board he’s turned things around.

Looking out on a crowd from behind a podium.
Joe Hardy via Flickr

The deadline has passed for Florida’s gubernatorial candidates to get their names on the ballot, and hopefuls are turning their sights to their party’s primary.  But for some lesser known competitors, the first battle is just getting a chance to debate. 

On the Democratic side of the aisle, friction between Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and former Democratic State Sen. Nan Rich has been well documented.  Rich has been agitating for months to debate the former Republican governor and she says Floridians agree with her.

Office of the Governor

Ethics complaints have been filed against Florida Gov. Rick Scott this week claiming he hasn’t disclosed campaign travel aboard his wife’s airplane. A young Central Florida man is asking the state to investigate the incumbent governor.

Blaise Gainey


   It’s still several months from the primary elections but Governor Rick Scott and former governor Charlie Crist have already begun to take shots at one another. They’ve been going back and forth lately about in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants.  Crist stands behind the idea, and during a luncheon at Tiger Bay Tuesday he urged the governor and Republican leaders in the legislature to do the same.

Nick Evans

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed four sex offender bills into law Tuesday during a public ceremony at the Capitol.  The event brought together a number of Republican lawmakers to show off the first bills passed by the Legislature.

Flanked by lawmakers, sheriffs and victims’ advocates, Scott said the package of bills will make the state safer.


Florida Governor Rick Scott often says he thinks the state should be run more like a business. One way it already does is by farming out responsibilities to many department heads – quite a few of whom have come and gone in Scott’s first three years on the job. But, a recent exodus of state agency chiefs has left some wondering what such a high turnover rate indicates for the state as a corporation.

The Florida Channel

Florida healthcare reform supporters say Governor Rick Scott went too far Tuesday when he accused the federal government of using federal insurance exchanges slated to start later this year to create a government database of private information.

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott addressed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. 

Scott said the rulings won’t affect who can get married in Florida.

“In 2008, Florida voters amended our constitution, so that we are a traditional marriage state – marriage is between a man and a woman.  As Governor of the state I’ll uphold the existing law of the land, and that’s the law of our state,” Scott said.

Governor Rick Scott Vetoes Mental Health Bill

Jun 13, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill Wednesday aimed at improving mental health care in the judicial system.  The bill would have simplified and streamlined the transfer process between different facilities. 

Scott, however, objected to a different provision in the bill that would have placed a three year limit on rehabilitation before the accused could stand trial.

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new anti-Human trafficking bill into law in St. Petersburg Thursday.  The law is aimed at helping survivors move on with their lives.

Giselle Rodriguez, of The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, said victims of human trafficking sometimes commit crimes, but often it’s a matter of life and death.  

“A lot of the clients that I have worked with firsthand have admitted to having to steal things such as food in order to survive,” Rodriguez said.

Gov. Rick Scott Threatens To Veto House, Senate Top Bills

Apr 23, 2013

In the last two weeks of Florida’s legislative session, there’s still plenty of time for the legislature to pass bills and the Governor to veto them. But with conflicting priorities between the two branches some of the most talked about bills may get never leave the Governor’s desk.

Governor Rick Scott and the legislature are headed toward a clash over teacher pay raises. Scott wants full-time teachers to get $2,500 across-the-board raises. But the legislature’s plans only get the Governor part of the way there, and he and teachers aren’t pleased.

Florida high school students took AP classes and passed Advanced Placement exams last year in greater numbers than ever before, according to a new national report.

Florida ranked fourth in the nation, up two places from last year, based on the percentage of its 2012 graduates who had passed at least one AP exam while in high school, according to the College Board’s 9th annual “AP Report to the Nation.” Florida Governor Rick Scott attributes the success to the state’s teachers.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has unveiled his proposal for the state’s budget in the coming fiscal year. He calls it the Florida Family First budget, but some worry it ignores the needs of average working class people.

Scott is proposing a $74.2 billion budget. His office said it’s the first time since fiscal year 2008/2009 that  that state hasn’t had a General Revenue budget gap to fill. And Scott said that means the state has a little cash to invest in its priorities.