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Response to Rick Scott’s misleading “State of the State” address

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In response to Rick Scott’s misleading “State of the State” address, Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo of the Florida Democratic Party issues the following statement:

 

“Rick Scott can try to paint a rosy picture, but the facts and experiences of Floridians speak for themselves. The reality is this: under Rick Scott and his self-serving agenda, Florida families in more than half the state have fewer jobs today than they did ten years ago, our children have had funding from public schools redirected to for-profit schools that pay Rick Scott millions in campaign contributions and working families pay more for health care. Rick Scott’s Florida is one in which he continues to put himself, his donors and his billionaire friends first and Florida families are worse off for it.”

 

THE REAL STATE OF RICK SCOTT’S ECONOMY: OVER HALF OF FLORIDA’S COUNTIES HAVE LOST JOBS IN THE LAST TEN YEARS AND THE STATE IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE NATION IN TERMS OF 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] 


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]

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] 


 

THE REAL STATE OF RICK SCOTT’S FLORIDA ON EDUCATION: FLORIDA’S FUNDING PER-PUPIL IS WELL BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE AND SCOTT HAS DONE “ASTOUNDING DAMAGE” TO OUR K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

 

Florida’s Per-Pupil Education Funding Below National Average. “Florida's per-pupil education funding remains below the national average, which was roughly $12,500 in 2013-14, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.” [Politico, 12/13/17]


Florida Education Association: Scott failed to "Move Florida (schools) out from the bottom when compared to other states.” [Reuters, 11/21/17]

Palm Beach Post, Editorial: Scott’s double-whammy against public education in Florida. “With one stroke of his pen last week, Gov. Rick Scott set back progress for Florida’s public universities. And with another stroke, he did astounding damage to the state’s K-12 public schools.” [Palm Beach Post, 6/17/17]

Sun-Sentinel: Editorial: Florida's broken state Legislature; Miami Herald Editorial: “State funding for public schools still lags the national average of $10,600, at just over $7,000. That’s a disgrace;” Sun Sentinel: Editorial: Florida's secret budget deal undermines education, public trust; Miami Herald: Editorial: Veto the Florida Legislature’s harmful education budget, Gov. Scott; Tampa Bay Times: Editorial: Florida budget deal trades cash for bad policy; Ocala Star Banner: Editorial: Don’t cut aid to state colleges; Daytona Beach News Journal: Volusia school officials: Rick Scott’s budget increase not enough to meet needs; Sun Sentinel: Opinion: Gov. Rick Scott puts personal agenda ahead of Florida families; Ocala Star Banner: Editorial: Quite the secrecy in Tallahassee; Palm Beach Post: Editorial: Too many decisions made in private, by just three people; Gainesville Sun: Editorial Jeer: “Rick Scott, for signing House Bill 7069 into law.”

 

THE REAL STATE OF RICK SCOTT’S FLORIDA ON HEALTH CARE: SCOTT OPPOSED EXPANDING MEDICAID, BUT SUPPORTS IMPOSING AN AGE TAX ON OLDER FLORIDIANS, ELIMINATING COVERAGE FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FLORIDIANS – 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]

 

THE REAL STATE OF RICK SCOTT’S FLORIDA ON OPIOID ABUSE: HE SLASHED ADDICTION SERVICES AND CLOSED THE OFFICE OF DRUG CONTROL

 

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]

 

THE REAL STATE OF RICK SCOTT’S FLORIDA ON PROTECTION OF SENIORS: HE ROLLED BACK PROTECTIONS TO BENEFIT HIS FRIENDS AND DONORS

 

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.”