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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking Rick Scott, Florida Democrats on State of the State



Gov. Rick Scott's third State of the State speech included talking points about his favorite topics, education and the economy, both old and new. Before the speech, Florida Democrats unleashed an attack on Scott's record of reducing the state workforce and cutting money for public education.

Both team's arguments flubbed the facts. Here's the rundown from PolitiFact Florida.

Scott blamed state government's taxing and borrowing for the bad state of the economy when he became governor two years ago. "Now is not the time to turn back to the legacy of taxing and borrowing that crippled the economy we inherited two years ago," he said.

Economists said this was nonsense. Florida's economy was hurt by the housing crisis and the national financial crisis, not taxing and borrowing from state government. We rated his statement False.

Scott repeated the claim that his proposed education budget "is the highest state funding level in Florida history." That sounds like Florida students are getting more money than ever, but they're not. Scott's counting only the money that state government contributes, not federal or local funding. When you look at the big picture, education funding in Florida falls short of an all-time high. We rated his statement Half True.

The Florida Democratic Party said that Scott's record on education is terrible, and that he doesn't consider education a "core function" of the state. We looked for statements where Scott would have said that and came up empty. We rated the Democrats' statement False.

The Democrats also claimed Scott axed more public sector jobs than had been created in the private sector in 2012. We checked the numbers and found that was totally wrong; the Democrats had only counted part of the year. The state ended the year with a net gain of 54,900 jobs. We rated their statement Pants on Fire!


[Last modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 9:22am]


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