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Gov Scott and Lt Gov meet with black legislative leaders

By Regan McCarthy

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-992047.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Members of the legislative Black Caucus presented Governor Rick Scott with a wish list Tuesday. As Regan McCarthy reports members asked for the continuation of the black business loan program, a solution for the disparity in minority health care and more diverse judges.

Governor Rick Scott and Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll met with members of Florida's legislative black caucus for an hour long discussion about their priorities. The meeting got a little heated when the topic of the lack of diversity in the judicial system came up. Scott says diversifying the judicial system would be a good idea. But he says he's limited by the applicants and those who are nominated.

"I believe in diversity, but the other side is get good people to apply."

But Senator Arthenia Joyner says she has some doubts based on statements Scott made last year about not being willing to appoint a judge who didn't "think like him."

"Because you want me to think like you I don't see how we can reconcile getting a diverse diversity unless you back off your think like me because then we have monolithic thinking and there's no room for a diversity of thought. And then we all become Scott clones."

Scott says maybe the words "think like me" weren't the best choice. He says what he meant by that is that his goal is to ensure the judges he appoints aren't judges who try to use their position to make law. Scott and members of the caucus say they plan to continue the conversation they started about issues facing minorities throughout the coming session.