Rick Scott: In His Own Words

Here’s the latest installment of “In His Own Words,” where we provide a transcription of Gov. Rick Scott’s gaggles with reporters.

This one lasted two minutes and 48 seconds, and Scott spent more than a minute of that time talking about a GI bill he signed into law yesterday. Scott’s Q-and-A with the press took place Tuesday after a press conference where Scott signed several bills intended to strengthen laws regarding sexual predators.

Governor, why did you feel the need to send off a letter regarding inspections of the VA hospitals?

RS: Sure. Well, yesterday I was proud to sign the GI bill with the leadership of the Senate president and the speaker. We’ve got to take care of our veterans. We care about our veterans. They’ve gone out there and they’ve defended our freedom. So I asked the secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to do an investigation. They need to look at the processes of these VA facilities. We’ve heard the stories of deaths. We’ve heard the stories of injuries. That’s not right. Our veterans defended our freedom. So I’ve asked them to go in, take immediate action, go do the investigations, give us the information. The federal government has failed us. They’re not telling us what’s happening in these facilities. They should be telling us exactly what’s happening. Where did these injuries and deaths happen? Why did they happen? What are they doing to fix it? So we’re going to do our part. If the federal government’s not going to do their job, we’re going to do our job. We need transparency. It’s not right what they’re doing, what the federal VA is doing. So we’re going to stand up.

Governor, there are about 600,000 people who bought two-year tags from September of ’14 and ’15 who paid a higher price. Should they get a credit?

RS: I want to thank the House and Senate for passing this. $400 million tax cut. It’s a great tax cut. It’s going to be effective in September. It’s doing the right thing for our citizens, giving them money back in their pocket. It’s a tax that was increased in 2009. And they did the right thing this year and it will be effective Sept. 1.

Governor, can you talk a little about in-state tuition? Sen. Latvala said he wants to take the House version of the proposal today? Is that something you would sign, the House version of the proposal?

RS: Sure. I’m very supportive of the bill that was passed through the judiciary. I want to thank the Sen. Latvala for all his work and everybody else who’s worked on getting that done. I want to work with the House and the Senate to make sure we have a bill that lowers tuition for all Floridians.

Governor, some are raising issues about the credibility of lottery winnings. Don’t know if you’re familiar with this serious but wondering if you’re feeling the Lottery needs a deeper investigation at this point.

RS: I know the secretary of the Lottery takes everything seriously, wants to make sure it’s done properly and so they’re clearly working on transparency and working to make sure there’s no fraud.

Governor, about the tuition bill. There are still some concerns, particularly among conservative speakers who spoke today about the provision dealing with undocumented immigrants. Are you comfortable with allowing undocumented immigrants to have in-state tuition?

RS: So what I’ve said is I support the bill that came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today but I’m going to work with the Senate and the House to make sure that we have a bill that lowers tuition for all Floridians.

Thanks everybody.



The News Service of Florida