The Capitol conference room was full of anticipation Monday, as the press waited for Gov. Rick Scott to unveil the budget he had presented in Eustis, Fla. earlier that day.
In large, the budget agenda outlined his plan to give $2 billion back to taxpayers.
According to Scott, he will carry out his plan to reduce the state workforce by five percent, cutting over 8,600 state jobs- 2,000 of which are empty positions- and re-open the positions in the private sector.
Scott also emphasized that the fiscal year 2012 budget is a “job budget” for the state, in order to bring more jobs to Florida.
As Scott mentioned, his campaign was targeted toward bringing more jobs to Florida, especially under his 7-7-7 plan: seven steps to create 700,000 jobs in seven years.
“We have got to get the state back to work,” said Scott.
“If you look at the chart of unemployment, we are the third worst state right now with 12 percent,” he said in reference to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December jobs report.
As for pension reform, Scott said he will require public sector employees to pay five percent in their pensions. For Scott, the pension plan needs to be in place when the employees that have done their time are done.
Scott also plans to renegotiate existing contracts, which is proposed to save the taxpayers $660 million over two years.
During questioning, the hot button issue was Scott’s plan to slash $1.3 billion dollars from education.
Although he did say he would not cut any money from education, Scott answered saying the money that was going to be cut from Education were not state funds but federal loans.
“There is no cut in education out of the state general revenue,” said Scott. “We are not going to take federal money and believe it is going to be there forever.”
Before leaving, Scott spoke again of his stance on Florida’s job outlook.
“I want to get the people back to work… that’s my focus.”
For Scott, the proposed budget cuts are a step in the right direction to getting Florida back on track. Further saying the Florida needs to become the economic model for the nation.
“Florida should be where people want to come to start their businesses and this is what it is going to take.”
For more information of Governor Rick Scott’s budget proposal visit http://letsgettowork.state.fl.us