Florida Matters: Newsmaker Gov. Rick Scott

Florida Matters: Newsmaker Gov. Rick Scott

On Florida Matters this week, Bobbie O'Brien talked with the state’s 45th governor about Florida Polytechnic, the Republican National Convention, and whether Florida is the most veteran-friendly state.
Five things we learned from our interview with Governor Scott:
1. That Scott thinks a 12th University “makes sense”
The governor has several reasons why he thinks creating a new university is a good idea. The funding was already allotted for the current USF Poly campus, it focuses state resources on STEM degrees, the Board of Governors had already approved it and “sometimes there’s a benefit from starting something from scratch.”
2. That Scott is worried about universities competing against each other
Prior to 2000, there were only two medical schools in the public university system, now there are six. Scott said the Board of Governors must remember that “we’re building a system, we’re not building 12 competitors.” In 2006, the Board of Governors commissioned the Pappas Report which cautioned against “mission creep” among other concerns with the university framework.
3. That Scott wants to “do business” at Republican National Convention.
Scott believes his biggest job during the four day convention is to “welcome business people who might open up jobs here.” The governor plans on “showcasing our state.” He said the selling points are: no personal income tax and he will promise a responsive state government “if you think a fee is unfair ... if a regulation doesn’t make sense ... if a permit is taking too long.”
4. That Scott plans accountability for tax incentives
The governor said he reorganized the state’s economic development and tax incentive program last year. He promises that now “we measure every deal” – looking at how much is given in state tax dollars versus how much is returned in tax revenues.
Yet, he said he is willing to look at and learn from the recent Pew Center report: Evidence Counts that ranks Florida among the worse states in tracking tax incentives. Evidence Counts – Evaluating State Tax Incentives for Jobs and Growth finds that 25 states and Florida are trailing and not adequately tracking the tax money and promised jobs.
5. That Scott claims the title as most veteran friendly state
Scott meets with base commanders every 90 days to make sure Florida is the most military friendly state because it means jobs and he cares about the military, having served in the Navy and his dad served in the 82nd Airborne.
And as the military members retire most are staying in Florida the veteran population is 1,650,000 not including the 1 million military family members. “We want jobs in our state, we a great education system in our state and to have quality people. The people coming out of the military are really great people, I want them to be in Florida.”

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Carson Cooper

Carson Cooper is a familiar voice. He has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than two decades. He has been the host of WUSF 89.7's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community, including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Robin Sussingham

Robin Trohn Sussingham is a reporter and program host at WUSF Public Broadcasting, and is the producer of Florida Matters. She came to WUSF from public radio stations KUER and KCPW in Utah, has contributed stories to NPR and Marketplace, and also has an extensive background in print reporting. She was born in Lakeland and often reports about Polk County.

Contact Information

Florida Matters isn’t just one-way communication. We want you to get involved in the conversation each week and tell us what you think about the topics we’re discussing.

All you have to do is sign up for a free account on our Web site -- it’s free, easy, and we promise we won’t share your information! We welcome your input as we continue to find new stories to share in the Bay area.

And if you have an idea for a show or want to contact the producers, send an e-mail to floridamatters@wusf.org.

FirstChoice eNewsletter