Rick Scott

Jane Meinhardt / Tampa Bay Business Journal

HealthPlan Services is bringing 1,000 new jobs to Florida, in part because the company says it will pick up a lot of new customers from the Affordable Care Act, the Tampa Tribune reports. Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most ardent opponents of the health law, was on hand to praise the company for adding new jobs in Florida.

A Scott/Bush Split On State Board Of Education

Sep 17, 2013
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said Sunday that he was never told by Homeland Security officials in 2016 when he was Florida's governor that Russian hackers had gained access to voter databases in two Florida counties ahead of the presidential election.

Two State Board of Education members criticized Gov. Rick Scott's leadership on education issues Tuesday, highlighting a rift between Scott and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Board members Kathleen Shanahan and Sally Bradshaw -- who served as former Bush chiefs of staff -- said Scott needed to show more leadership on Common Core State Standards and other education issues.

The board is meeting in Palm Beach County today.

Associated Press photo

It looks like former Gov. Charlie Crist will make a run to get his old job back and he hopes that a hug that hurt him becomes the hug that now heals him.

Democratic President Barack Obama embraced Crist, then Florida’s Republican governor, at a 2009 rally. Republican Marco Rubio used the image to successfully chase Crist from the GOP and defeat Crist, running as an independent, in the 2010 U.S. Senate race. Now Gov. Rick Scott also is using the hug to attack Crist.

The difference is Crist is now a Democrat and embracing the hug.

PolitiFact-Checking Governor Scott on Taxes

Sep 11, 2013

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making the rounds on a tax cut tour to drum up support for his plans to cut taxes and fees in his next proposed budget by $500 million.

Scott says an expected revenue surplus next year is the taxpayers' money and that some of it should be given back to taxpayers!

The governor's most recent claims how that excess revenue came about and just how many taxes he's cut up to this point played to mixed reviews from the fact-checkers at Politifact Florida

Gov. Rick Scott tried again this past legislative session to make all state employees pay the same amount for health insurance.

Part of Scott's campaign pledge was to bring state health insurance costs in line with the national average.

Scott proposed all state workers pay $50 for individual coverage or $180 for family coverage, saving the state about $43.4 million.

That's what rank-and-file state employees pay now.

Fact Checking Florida Workers' Pay

Feb 6, 2013
Tampa Bay Times

Is it true that state workers in Florida have not received a raised in six years?

For the most part, PolitiFact Florida says yes.

The pre-legislative session chatter out of Tallahassee is a little different this year because there's an anticipated budget surplus.  There is actually talk of upping budgets, raising teacher salaries and giving state workers a bonus.

Those items are in Gov. Rick Scott's $74 billion budget, but some state legislators want to do even more.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott spent the weekend expressing his opposition to President Obama's Affordable Care Act.  He appeared on Fox News, CNN and CNBC.  He announced he will not expand Medicaid in the state or allow open health insurance "exchanges."

But PolitiFact Florida says Scott needs to recheck his facts:

Scott: Medicaid expansion will cost the State $1.9 billion a year.

PolitiFact Ruling: False

Florida was the lead plaintiff in the 27-state lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.

Now that the law has been upheld by the Supreme Court, Governor Rick Scott tells Fox News he will not implement it.

"We're not going to implement Obamacare in Florida," Scott said. "We're not going to expand Medicaid because we're going to do the right thing. We're not going to do the exchange."

He says the law is too costly for Floridians and bad policy, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Scott hopes the law will be repealed after the November election, if a new president is elected. He says even if that doesn't happen, Florida will not set up a health exchange or participate in an expansion of the Medicaid program.

Scott says the state can't afford to add an estimated 1 million people to the Medicaid rolls -- even with the federal government picking up 90 percent of the cost.

"We can't pay for that; there is no way Floridians can pay for that," he said.

Governor Scott wants to be among those who provide recorded greetings to passengers at Tampa International Airport, especially during this summer's Republican National Convention.

It is illegal under Florida law for state officials to accept gifts from lobbyists or organizations that hire lobbyists.

Free publicity is considered a gift for politicians.

But the Florida Commission on Ethics concluded that the messages can be considered a gift, but a gift with no value.

Florida Government

Florida's Secretary of State is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for refusing access to a federal database containing information about citizenship.

The State of Florida wants to use the federal database to verify the citizenship of Florida voters and purge non-citizens who may be registered illegally. But, the federal government has said the SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program) database is not comprehensive and lists mostly green-card holders and naturalized citizens.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said Sunday that he was never told by Homeland Security officials in 2016 when he was Florida's governor that Russian hackers had gained access to voter databases in two Florida counties ahead of the presidential election.

Almost nobody in Florida knows who Nan Rich is...and she'd trounce Gov. Rick Scott if she ran against him.

That's the conclusion of a PPP poll that also says Scott is less popular than the polarizing Miami Heat star LeBron James.

By the way, Nan Rich is minority leader of the Florida Senate, and she's announced her intention to run for governor in 2014.

If you're meeting with the King of Spain, and he's just broken his hip in a fall during a controversial elephant hunting you bring it up?

Gov. Rick Scott not only brought it up -- he opened the conversation with it earlier this week.

"I've ridden elephants, I've never tried to shoot one," Scott said to the 74-year-old king.

"Oh," the king replied.

(Awkward silence.)

Florida Governor Rick Scott sparked some controversy this week in his meeting with the King of Spain in Madrid.

Scott was in Spain this week to drum up business for Florida.

Instead, he dug up an incident the King was trying to get behind him. 

Scott repeatedly asked King Juan Carlos about his recent -- and controversial -- elephant hunt in Botswana.

The 74-year-old king damaged his public standing by going on the expensive hunt while the rest of Spain faces a major financial crisis. He also injured his hip. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, quit Saturday after a week of press reports of questionable dealings. Why now?

1. The Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times team broke the news of a no-bid deal he made when he worked in the Senate: "a $5.5 million contract with Spider Data Systems for a software platform," Mary Ellen Klas reports, that benefitted a friend.

Gov. Rick Scott says his new "Project Sunburst" is an unprecedented act of transparency. But one political watcher says Scott appears to be taking lessons in communication from the mafia.

Scott recently started publishing all his e-mails and those of his top lieutenants online for the public to see.

"Project Sunburst" comes after a minor scandal where his e-mails were improperly destroyed during his transition to power.

"Chief Executive" magazine's 2012 best and worst list rates Florida as the second most attractive business market in the country.

Florida moved past North Carolina this year to start nipping at the heels of number one Texas.

The 650 CEO's surveyed for the rankings praised the top five states -- Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana -- for their low taxes and regulatory policies.

First, an Orlando judge ruled drug testing welfare recipients unconstitutional. Now, federal judge Ursula Ungaro from Miami has ruled Governor Scott's drug testing of state employees is also unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and another state union challenged Governor Scott's Executive Order from last year to drug test state employees. ACLU-FL said it violated fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and Thursday Ungaro agreed.

Mark Wilson / Getty News Images

Gov. Rick Scott's decision on legislation setting the future of the University of South Florida Polytechnic is due this week.

Scott is feeling political pressure from both sides. The Lakeland Ledger is reporting Scott will announce his decision today.

StateImpact Florida takes a look at some of the reasons Scott could cite for signing (or allowing to become law without a signature) or vetoing the law.

Associated Press

The $70 billion budget signed by Governor Rick Scott Tuesday contained both good and bad news for the University of South Florida, along with one giant issue still yet to be decided--the fate of USF Polytechnic.

You may have been received a call lately asking you to "tell your state Senator" to oppose the parent trigger bill.

If you have, you probably live in the district of a handful of mostly moderate Republicans who are still undecided about the bill.

It's a top priority of former Governor Jeb Bush and conservative leaders in the Legislature. It's become enemy number one to unions.

The bill would allow parents in failing schools to be able to vote for change - such as turning the facility into a charter school.

It may have been a slow session at the Florida Legislature this year, but that hasn’t stopped drama from breaking out in the state Senate.

An attempted coup over who would be the future state Senate president. The failure of prison privatization. And a continuing fight over the parent trigger bill.

It reveals the split between moderates and conservatives in the state Senate, according to Peter Schorsch. He’s a political consultant and the man behind award-winning