"With the Sunshine State having nationally recognized visionaries, with integrity, like Governors Collins, Askew, Graham, Chiles and Bush, the last 8 years of Rick Scott have been a real wasted opportunity for Florida."
In the 8 years of service to the people of Florida, to his credit, Governor Scott kept a very visible and measurable goal---jobs, jobs, jobs. He was ironically aided by the recession he inherited, so there was little movement expected but up. Scott promised 700,000 jobs at the end of his first term and essentially hit it. He is expected to double the number by the end of his second term this year. Critics though say these numbers discount jobs lost and the question the quality of the jobs. Economic Development: B
Probably the area of state government affecting most of its' citizens, especially with our large senior citizen population, is health care. Most felt this was a real opportunity for innovation since Scott's private sector strength was health care administration. But when President Obama proposed a sharing program between Florida and the Federal government to move the uninsured onto subsidized health care, Scott balked. Obama even proposed Florida craft their own program aligned with Medicaid, but Scott still refused. This was a clear lost opportunity due to Scott mimicking the national GOP obstructionist line on Obama Care and not leading to find a solution. Now other states will get the benefit of Florida resources. Health Care: F
Funding for Public Education is typically the hallmark of most Governor's careers. Scott will say it has been for his Administration too, except he must insert "Private" in front of Education. During his very first term, he cut millions from Public Education. The Community College and University programs have also grovelled for meager funding from the State under Scott. For the record, Scott has supported record funding from the Legislature for vouchers for Private Education, but at the expense of Public Education. In his final budget, he did increase his funding request for Education. Funding for Education: D
As with many Republican Governors in Florida, environmental support starts out as a disaster, and after constant criticism by the public and press, it works its' way back to a position of neutrality. That is what happened with Scott. Scott's record of flip flopping repeatedly on oil drilling off Florida's Coast casts a pall on his flimsy attempt to shown contrition for his past deeds attacking environmental programs. These included vetoing $305 million for Florida Forever and cutting over $700 million for the critical Water Management Districts, both in one year. His no bid contract for 30 year leases for big sugar may be a record for poor governance. Environment: D
Ethics is usually a failing mark for the pro-business Republicans like Scott. His Department of Corrections has constantly had alleged corrupt administration as has his own Executive Office of Governor, and the Department of Lottery. With predecessors of renown integrity like Governors Collins, Askew, Graham, Chiles and Bush, Scott's lack of prioritizing the importance of ethics is glaring. His refusal to comply with the letter and intent of the Sunshine Law was a constant eye sore for Scott. Press access at the press conferences, with the few held, were a national joke for Scott. Ethics: D
Overall Grade: Lost Opportunity D
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