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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A year later: What Gov. Rick Scott said in his inaugural address



One year ago on this date -- Jan. 6, 2015 -- Richard Lynn Scott took the oath of office as governor of Florida for the second time on the steps of the Old Capitol in Tallahassee.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was there, and was mobbed by fans when he walked down the Capitol steps. Also on hand was former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (remember him?)

"The campaign is over," Scott declared.

Is it? Throughout the past 12 months, Scott has often seemed to be in perpetual campaign mode, as the Times/Herald called it last May. Scott's political committee, Let's Get to Work, continues to collect checks in the millions of dollars. There's a U.S. Senate seat for the taking when Scott's second term ends in 2018.

"Sure, there will be differences of opinion," Scott said in his inaugural address.

That might have been the understatement of the year, considering how stressful Scott's relations were at times with his fellow Republicans in the Senate, with the Republican Party of Florida, and with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, to name a few. There were "differences of opinion" over who should run the state GOP, the handling of the dismissal of FDLE's top cop, Medicaid expansion, the budget and Scott's budget vetoes, for starters.

"We will  cut another $1 billion in taxes in the next two years," Scott promised.

This remains unfulfilled, but Scott got almost halfway there in the 2015 session and is asking the Legislature for $1 billion in cuts in the session that starts next Tuesday.

"Talk is cheap. We have to make the investments necessary to turn talk into reality. We have made great environmental strides and we will continue to do so," Scott said.

Environmental groups sued the Legislature in 2015, claiming that the Legislature failed to carry out the will of the people who voted for Amendment 1's land and water protections.A judge last month dismissed a number of the environmentalists' claims, however.

"Let's commit today to work together to keep Florida working," he said. At the start of Year Six, creating jobs remains Scott's No. 1 priority. But the "working together" part remains more of a hope than a reality, at least where the Florida Senate is concerned.

Read Scott's second inaugural address here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 10:29am]


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