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Gov. Scott says state prepared to help Puerto Rico in any way

Dismisses criticism of ‘photo-ops’
Gov. Rick Scott talks with reporters outside the White House on Sept. 29, 2017, after a lunch with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in which they discussed Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida, and Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico. (Alex Leary | Times)
Gov. Rick Scott talks with reporters outside the White House on Sept. 29, 2017, after a lunch with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in which they discussed Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida, and Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico. (Alex Leary | Times)
Published Sep. 29, 2017|Updated Sep. 29, 2017

WASHINGTON – Gov. Rick Scott said the state of Florida is prepared to help Puerto Rico and has already taken some steps, dismissing criticism that he’s not taken decisive enough action amid the disaster.

“This is not a time for politics,” Scott said after meeting with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House. “Remember, my job is to be responsive to what the governor of Puerto Rico wants. He’s going through an unbelievable crisis and so as he finds his needs, I will do everything I can.”

Scott said he had offered in-state tuition for Puerto Rican college students who may come to Florida, that he had spoken with major ports about “how can we get more product there.”

He also mentioned the potential for bilingual police officers to go to the island and said he’s had conversations with power companies.

“My job is with Gov. Rossello : Tell me your problem and I’ll see if I can help you.”

Illustrating communications problems, Scott said he had spoken with Rosello earlier in the day and they got disconnected.

Hurricane Irma was also discussed in the White House meeting, and Scott later gave an upbeat assessment of the cleanup effort. “Our state has come back strong. We have our power back. People are back in business.”

An exception: The Keys. “It‘s devastating down there,” Scott said.

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