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The State Of Florida Under Rick Scott’s Self-Serving Agenda

Floridians face fewer jobs, “damage” to schools and higher health care costs – all to advance Scott’s own political interests

In response to Rick Scott’s State Of The State today, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Spokesman David Bergstein released the following statement:

“Hardworking Floridians are paying the price for Rick Scott’s self-serving agenda: fewer good-paying jobs, higher health care costs, and funding stripped from public schools. His motivation is and has always been to advance the interests of his wealthy, well-connected cronies and donors at the expense of Floridians who actually work for a living. He is truly a creature of the Tallahassee swamp, and if he decides to run for Senate voters will hold him accountable for his dishonesty and pathological need to put his own interests over what’s right for Florida’s middle-class families.”

See the facts for yourself:

***NEW THIS A.M.: RICK SCOTT’S SELF-SERVING RECORD ON OFF-SHORE OIL DRILLING, “SCOTT IS DEFINITELY A JOHNNY-COME-LATELY TO THIS ISSUE.”

  • The Hill: “Actions speak louder than words,” said Aliki Moncrief, executive director of Florida Conservation Voters…’Sen. Nelson has been taking action to defend our shores for decades. Gov. Scott is definitely Johnny-come-lately to this issue’ […] In 2010, when he was governor-elect, Scott seemed to support opening that area up, saying he ‘absolutely’ disagreed with then-President Obama’s decision not to pursue any eastern Gulf drilling through 2017.”[The Hill, 1/9/18]

SCOTT’S SELF-SERVING RECORD ON JOBS: UNDER SCOTT, OVER HALF OF FLORIDA COUNTIES LOST JOBS, STATE AT BOTTOM OF NATION IN WAGES.

  • Under Scott, Over Half Of Florida’s Counties Have Lost Jobs. “36 of the state’s 67 counties have lost jobs since 2007. Most of those counties were in rural areas of the state.” [Politico, 12/19/17; Times/Herald, 6/1/17]
  • Florida Politics: Report: Jobs in Florida cities have lowest pay in the nation. “Florida’s big cities have the lowest paying urban jobs in America, according to a recently released federal survey.” [Florida Politics, 7/7/16]
  • Pensacola News Journal Editorial: Editorial: Gov. Scott’s job promises missed most Floridians. “Despite almost 8 years of the governor’s persistent public rhetoric about job-creation, a report from the Florida Chamber found that 36 of 67 counties have actually lost jobs since 2007, before the Great Recession. And according to the data, many of Florida’s rural counties are worse off today than when Scott first won election in 2010.” [Pensacola News Journal Editorial,8/12/17]
  • Orlando Sentinel, Maxwell: Rick Scott, staff are delusional about Florida’s low-paying jobs. [Orlando Sentinel, Maxwell, 6/21/17]

SCOTT’S SELF-SERVING RECORD ON EDUCATION: UNDER SCOTT, PER-PUPIL EDUCATION FUNDING REMAINS BELOW NATIONAL AVERAGE, SCOTT “DID ASTOUNDING DAMAGE TO THE STATE’S K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOLS,” “SET BACK PROGRESS FOR FLORIDA’S PUBLIC UNVERSITIES.”

SCOTT’S SELF-SERVING RECORD ON HEALTH CARE: SCOTT OPPOSED EXPANDING MEDICAID, BUT HELPED “CRAFT” GOP HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT SPIKES COSTS, IMPOSES AN AGE TAX ON OLDER FLORIDIANS & STRIPS COVERAGE – WHILE GIVING HIMSELF A TAX BREAK.  

  • Politico: Scott would see big tax savings under Obamacare repeal. “Florida Gov. Rick Scott is urging Congress to keep trying to repeal Obamacare, but he’s not mentioning the personal benefit he would derive: a windfall tax cut of anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000.” [Politico FL, 4/11/17]
  • Miami Herald: Florida’s Rick Scott says he’s helping Trump craft replacement health care plan. [Miami Herald, 1/18/17]
  • Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board: Scott “All But Crushed” Hopes Of 800,000 Floridians To Get Healthcare Through Medicaid Expansion By Opposing State Senate Budget Plan. [Editorial, Orlando Sentinel, 4/8/15]

SCOTT’S SELF-SERVING RECORD ON DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION: SLASHING ADDICTION SERVICES, CLOSING OFFICE OF DRUG CONTROL – HIS RECORD “NOT ENOUGH,” “TOO SMALL.”

  • Capitol News Service: Under Scott Florida Cut Mental Health And Addiction Services By Over $11 Million in 2017. [WCTV, 7/11/17]
  • Pensacola News Journal: Scott “Took Major Step Backward In Effort To Fight Substance Abuse” By Closing Office Of Drug Control. “Gov.-elect Rick Scott took a major step backward in the effort to fight substance abuse in Florida by closing the Office of Drug Control. His ill-advised decision sends a message that drug abuse is no longer a problem or a priority in this state. But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to drugs and alcohol, and the massive costs and problems associated with abusing them. The harsh reality is that substance abuse exacts a costly toll in terms of prosecution and imprisonment. The costs of drug and alcohol abuse to the state have risen to a staggering $46 billion. There also are many broken homes and ruined lives.” [Editorial, Pensacola News Journal, 12/28/10] 
  • Scott “Stunned Law Enforcement” When He Proposed Eliminating Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Claimed It Was Not “Something The State Ought To Be Doing.” “Scott earlier this month had stunned law enforcement, legislators and Floridians who have lost relatives to pain pill abuse when he proposed eliminating the ‘prescription drug monitoring program,’ or PDMP. ‘I don’t think it’s the state’s responsibility,’ Scott said at a press briefing on Feb. 14. “I don’t think it’s something the state ought to be doing.” [Sun Sentinel, 2/26/11]
  • Miami Herald Editorial Board: Scott’s Efforts On Opioid Crisis Were “Not Enough,” “Too Small.” “State officials are on the case. Gov. Rick Scott extended his declaration of a public health emergency to distribute $27 million in federal money for various treatment and prevention programs, including $17.8 million for medication-assisted treatment and related counseling. A three-year minimum sentence for people caught with 4 grams of fentanyl or carfentanyl approved by the Legislature this spring and signed into law by Scott should be another deterrent to dealers. The $10.5 million in state money allocated by Tallahassee to reduce opioid dependency will help as well. But it’s not enough. The scale of this effort remains too small.” [Editorial, Miami Herald, 7/10/17]

SCOTT’S NURSING HOME-SCANDAL: LOOKING OUT FOR HIMSELF AT THE EXPENSE OF FLORIDA’S SENIORS.

  • CBS Miami: Scott failed to provide a response to the nursing home in the hours before the seniors’ deaths. [CBS Miami, 9/15/17]
  • Miami Herald: Scott ousted the state’s lead elder-affairs watchdog; signed legislation that “reduced” the direct care patients receive at nursing homes and cut inspections; approved laws granting nursing homes greater immunity from lawsuits; and utilized redaction software to shield from the public inspection reports critical of nursing homes, a move called “a favor to the industry by the Scott administration.” [Miami Herald, 9/19/17]
  • New York Times: Scott’s claims that he was unaware of the situation at the nursing home are contradicted by state records that “show that a facility that shared the building reported that the conditions were ‘adversely affecting patients.’” [New York Times, 9/23/17]
  • Editorials and columnists across the state condemned Scott, writing: the events “could be Rick Scott’s Benghazi;” he’s “significantly rolled back oversight of the industry;” and under Scott “the state has routinely prevented Floridians from getting answers about problems at other nursing homes.”

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