Gov. Scott visits Hillsborough River State Park, avoids subject of cuts to parks
TAMPA -- On the eve of the release of a new jobs report, Gov. Rick Scott visited Hillsborough River State Park today to spread some mulch and greet park visitors.
It was Scott's 11th time as governor he's performed tasks associated with other occupations as part of his "Let's Get to Work Day." By 9 a.m., Scott had already helped spread out a few bags of mulch and helped dig a hole. "Ranger" Rick then greeted cars as they drove into the park.
Later, he told reporters that working with park employees helped him get more familiar with the parks budget. This year, the state's parks system had its budget cut by about $5 million, to $79.5 million, according to Donald Forgione, the director of Florida Parks Service.
"We have great state parks," Scott said. "Part of the job of governor is to allocate state funds in the best way possible."
With state unemployment numbers set for release tomorrow, Scott said he hoped they were an improvement on national figures.
"I hope we continue to go down," Scott said.
While Scott has claimed unemployment has dropped since he took office in 2011, that's a matter of dispute.
This week, the Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research released a report that the 1.3 percent drop in unemployment since the end of 2011 is attributed mostly to people dropping out of the workforce.
In fact, a 69 percent of the drop in the unemployment rate is due to fewer people participating in the job market, not from jobs being created.