Gov. Rick Scott opens 2016 legislative session with strong pitch for jobs and tax cuts
TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Rick Scott opened Florida's annual legislative session Tuesday by linking job creation to his top two priorities of cutting taxes and spending more money to lure companies to Florida.
In a State of the State address to all 160 lawmakers, Scott urged them to create a new $250 million fund for corporate incentives and $1 billion in tax cuts, mostly for businesses, such as repealing the sales tax on manufacturing equipment and reducing taxes on commercial rents.
"Floridians want the opportunity to live their dreams," Scott said. "Therefore, I believe that the best way to help the weakest, the poorest, and the most disadvantaged neighbors live their dreams is get them a job."
Scott saluted six Florida mayors who were in the audience, all of whom support the $250 million jobs fund, including Tampa's Bob Buckhorn and Orlando's Buddy Dyer.
Scott switched the tone of his speech away from the upbeat message of jobs with references to global threats of terrorism and the upcoming presidential election.
Scott has said Donald Trump is the candidate who is most effectively "capturing the frustration of many Americans." Trump will hold a rally at a civic center in Pensacola on Wednesday, as Scott embarks on a statewide bus tour to promote his agenda.
"Our next president must make it their mission to immediately eliminate the threat of ISIS to the United States of America," Scott said in his speech.