Scott says he'll talk about cutting regulations and merging agencies in inaugural speech
Gov-elect Rick Scott spoke at length for the first time Monday evening at a cocktail part reception for Florida business leaders.
With his voice growing hoarse, Scott mingled with about 100 representatives of business groups, lobbyists and corporate officials at Tallahassee's historic Goodwood Plantation. He strayed little from the broad-brushed themes that dominated his campaign.
But he gave a few fresh insights onto how he will tackle his twin goals of creating jobs and shrinking state government.
"The problem with running a campaign in which you say what you're going to do is that people basically now want you to go do it," Scott said, to the mostly subdued crowd, noshing on appetizers and mixed drinks.
Scott said he planned to appoint a high-level staffer to review state regulations and recommend those worth eliminating. He recalled during his days as a hospital executive telling his staff to quit sending out rafts of paper records that were available on the internet as a money-saving tactic.
More from news feed from John Kennedy of the News Service of Florida:
"I asked, if we stopped doing it, what would happen?" Scott said. "I'm certain there are things we've dome in government that don't work."
Scott said the state would "get rid of regulations that don't work." Also, he would advance "fair tort reform," Scott said.
"If we're fair to business and if we're fair to people, we'll win," he said.
Scott also echoed his call for "education reform," essentially a second shot at the tenure-ending, teacher merit-pay legislation opposed last year by the state's largest teachers' union and vetoed by outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist. Scott said improving schools, ending "job-killing regulations," and combining and eliminating some state agencies to save money and improve efficiency are part of what he'll push for after Tuesday's high-noon swearing-in.
Susan Story, president Gulf Power, who introduced Scott, said she'd been impressed by the governor-elect's meetings with business site selectors in Fort Lauderdale, home to his transition office. "I tell you, those site selectors thought he was awesome. There's some people who get it, and that's great, and there's some people who get it and can do something about it."
Among those attending were representatives of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Florida Retail Association.
Bud Chiles, son of late Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles and who ran, himself, briefly as an independent for governor last year, said Scott had sought his advice on job creating efforts. "He's got a lot on his shoulders," Chiles said. "But I think whoever was elected in this cycle was going to face a really tough job. He knows that."