Scott takes on ‘axis of unemployment’ in inaugural speech
Jan 12, 2011
By DAVID ROYSE
The News Service of Florida

“Florida has to offer business people the biggest opportunity for financial success,” Scott said. “Not a guarantee, just a fair chance.

“Three forces reduce that chance for success,” Scott continued. “Taxation, regulation and litigation. Those three form the axis of unemployment.”

Scott ruled out any new taxes or fees, saying the state raises enough money to meet its needs. Instead, officials must focus on spending the money smarter while setting “better priorities” and “demanding more accountability.”

On regulations, Scott said he would conduct a top to bottom review. Following his speech, he signed an executive order creating a new office to carefully vet proposed rules by agencies and go back over state contracts.

On another front, Scott warned that his administration would return to the battle with trial lawyers that marked the Jeb Bush years, promising to reduce lawsuits as a way of enticing new corporate residents.

“We will not allow a small group of predatory lawyers to stalk the business community in search of deep pockets,” Scott said. “In the absence of serious tort reform, Florida will lose opportunities for job growth. No special interest group can be allowed to triumph over the goal of full employment.”

Scott came off as a true outsider in another way—in contrast to professional politicians like Crist. Clearly not used to making big speeches in front of large crowds, Scott had a halting, nervous delivery in which he flubbed a few lines—including one in which he accidentally said he would eliminate all state agencies. He recovered from that mistake well, though, with a laugh, noting “that’ll be in the papers.”

While the speech focused mostly on making it easier to do business in the state, Scott also gave nods to education and health care. He called for giving people more choice in both areas, though with few details, and echoed Bush in saying several times that the current education system is more in tune with an earlier way of life.

He also, though briefly, referred to his own opposition to the federal health care law, which he fought against, a battle he’s vowed to continue.

“We’re not going to allow bureaucrats and the federal government to trample all over our decisions and our relationships with our doctors,” he said. “We’ll refuse to allow increased government intrusion in these areas.”

And in closing, Scott repeated, “Let’s Get to Work.”
 

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