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Rick Scott's Real State of the State

Rick Scott has a history of election year pandering, and it was on full display during his State of the State speech today. Whether Scott’s touting his dubious 700,000 jobs creation promise, flip flopping on his pledge to protect educating funding, or refusing to discuss raising the minimum wage (which he’s said makes him “cringe”), billionaire Scott has shown time and again he’s committed to putting his re-election prospects and self interested ahead of what’s best for Florida’s middle class. American Bridge took a close look at Scott’s speech today, check out our new series of videos to get the truth on some of Scott’s most dubious promises and claims:

Rick Scott’s Real State of the State: On Jobs

Rick Scott’s Real State of the State: On Education

Rick Scott’s Real State of the State: On the Minimum Wage

BACKGROUND

ON JOBS

Scott Is Nowhere Near His 700,000 Jobs Goal

2010: Rick Scott Promised 700,000 New Jobs In Florida; These Jobs Were Promised In Addition To The 1.05 Million New Jobs Economists Expected Regardless Of Who Was Governor. According to The Tampa Bay Times, “When Scott debuted his 7-7-7 economic plan in July 2010, nonpartisan economists at the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research had just released their estimates for Florida’s long-term jobs outlook. They concluded Florida would add 1.05 million jobs between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2018, and it didn’t matter who lived in the Governor’s Mansion — Scott, Democrat Alex Sink or someone else. To account for the news, Scott clarified his promise. His 700,000 jobs would come in addition to the ones state economists forecasted. Put simpler: 7-7-7 became 7-7-1.7 million.” [Tampa Bay Times, 12/9/13]

University Of Florida Economist: “‘Florida Is Going To Come Nowhere Near Exceeding Normal Job Growth By 700,000 In Seven Years, No Matter How You Define It” According to The Tampa Bay Times, “That promise is a lot harder to keep. It requires the state to produce more than 20,000 jobs on average per month, every month, for seven years. To date, Florida is averaging 12,000 jobs a month. ‘Florida is going to come nowhere near exceeding normal job growth by 700,000 in seven years, no matter how you define it or time it,’ said David Denslow, a retired University of Florida economist.” [Tampa Bay Times, 12/9/13]

Economists “Doubt [Scott] Will Reach His Original Goal” Of 700,000 New Jobs According to The Tampa Bay Times, “The state has added jobs, a good sign after years of recession-driven losses. But Scott needs more job growth than ever to have a chance of fulfilling the promise he made during the campaign. Economists doubt he will reach his original goal — and that’s putting aside an argument about how much his policies affect job growth. For Scott to deliver, Florida needs to create 26,000 jobs a month, every month, for 50 straight months. That happened only five times in Scott’s first 34 months in office. The odds are stacked against him” [Tampa Bay Times, 12/9/13]

Scott’s Job Creation Efforts Haven’t Driven Job Growth

December 2013: Scott Had Distributed $266 Million In Incentives For Job Creation; 96% Of Promised Jobs Had Yet To Materialize. According to The Tampa Bay Times, “Of the jobs Scott can influence most, only a fraction now exist. Scott has pledged $266 million in tax breaks and other incentives in return for 45,258 new jobs. But 96 percent of the jobs have yet to materialize, according to state data.” [Tampa Bay Times, 12/6/13]

Walker’s Job Creation Incentives Failed To Offset Layoffs That Occurred During The Same Time Period According to The Tampa Bay Times, “The total number of new jobs Scott ultimately might deliver doesn’t offset the jobs lost at companies with more than 100 workers in the same time period. Between January 2011 and November 2013, large Florida employers reported 49,163 layoffs, according to federal data.” [Tampa Bay Times, 12/6/13]

ON EDUCATION

Scott Pledged Additional Education Funding

2013: Walker Pledged $480 Million For Teacher Pay Raises According to Tampa Bay Times, “Gov. Rick Scott declared victory after legislative leaders announced they included $480 million in the 2013-14 budget for teacher pay raises. Scott made a $2,500 pay raise for every teacher one of just two priorities this legislative session. So he announced the news on his Facebook page on April 29 with can’t-miss-it, all-caps text: ‘EVERY FLORIDA TEACHER GETS A PAY RAISE! IT’S WORKING.’ He’s oversimplifying it. The truth is, the Legislature’s offering of $480 million for raises may be the amount Scott wanted, but he’s glossing over the fine print. The raises would not be limited to just teachers. And they are not 100 percent guaranteed to every teacher.” [Tampa Bay Times, 5/5/13]
…But Previously Cut Education Funding By Over A Billion

Between 2010-11 And 2011-12, Florida’s Education Funding Dropped By $1.6 Billion. According to Politifact Florida, “As Scott approached his first legislative session in 2011, he unveiled a budget proposal at a tea party rally that included steep spending cuts, including to education. Ultimately, the Republican-led Legislature backed some of those cuts. Multiple news articles described the cuts to K-12 education at more than $1 billion — and many articles used that $1.3 billion figure cited by Crist…. Between 2010-11 and 2011-12, the state cut its own contribution to education funding by about $200 million, but it also reduced the local contribution by $572 million. Add in the lost federal stimulus money of $870 million, and we get $1.6 billion in funding reductions.” [Politifact Florida, 11/5/13]
…After Promising His Budget Would Not Cut Funding From Education

Scott Committed To Funding Schools At Same Level As In Previous Year. According to Politifact, “During an announcement where Scott said he would cut local school property taxes, called the required local effort, he was asked specifically about the effect on education funding. Here’s the question and answer from Feb. 3, which we just happened to record. Question: You referred to cuts in the RLE (required local effort) property tax. Do you have a plan to make up that revenue or will the schools take that as a loss? Scott: ‘No, ‘my commitment is to make sure the money that they’ve received they’ll get again. Where I’m getting the savings is, I’m reducing the state government. What I’m trying to do is keep the school budgets the same.’” [Politifact, 2/8/11]

Scott Denied Going Back On His Promise To Keep Education Funding. According to Politifact, “When Scott met with reporters after announcing his budget, he was asked if he had flipped on his campaign rhetoric. ‘No, it’s not going back on anything I promised,’ Scott said. ‘What I said throughout the campaign and what I’m saying today — any money that came out of state general revenue, we’re not cutting that. Any money that they relied on federal bailouts, that is different.’” [Politifact, 2/8/11]

ON RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE

Rick Scott: “When I Hear A Politician Say That We Have To Raise The Minimum Wage So Working Families Can Make Ends Meet, I Cringe” According to The Tampa Bay Times, “Count Gov. Rick Scott among those who are dubious about the Democrats’ proposal. ‘When I hear a politician say that we have to raise the minimum wage so working families can make ends meet, I cringe, because I know that statement is a lie,’ Scott said via email. ‘Even if we did raise the minimum wage, working families will still not be able to make ends meet on those jobs. We need good jobs that lead to good careers for our families and that’s what I am focused on.’” [Tampa Bay Times, 1/8/14]