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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kentucky's governor fires back at Scott's job-poaching efforts



Gov. Rick Scott is targeting yet another state in his effort to poach out-of-state jobs -- and this time the other governor is firing back.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, took issue with Scott's characterization of the Bluegrass State as a land of high taxes and anti-business regulation.

"Gov. Scott's description of the business climate in Kentucky is so far from the existing reality that one wonders whether he's had too much of that Florida sun (and the high property taxes that go with it)," Beshear said in a statement released Tuesday.

Beshear cited praise of Kentucky's business climate from Area Development magazine and a drop of 2.4 percentage points in the state's unemployment rate. Kentucky's unemployment rate is 7.9 percent; Florida's is 7.2 percent.

In his letter to Kentucky businesses, Scott cites the fact that Florida has a lower unemployment rate and has no personal income tax, unlike Kentucky.

On his official web site, Beshear is touting the news that Toyota plans to soon begin assembly of the popular Lexus ES350 sedan at its plant in Georgetown, Ky.

Earlier, Scott sent letters to governors of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland and Minnesota, criticizing those states' business climates and seeking to persuade CEOs to move south.

Scott and Beshear have a history. Two years ago, Beshear lobbied Scott to support a prescription drug monitoring system in an effort to reduce the high number of fatal drug overdoses caused by "pill mills" in Florida. Scott initially refused, but later did support the drug database.


[Last modified: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 11:38am]


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