TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – Governor-elect Rick Scott is ready to celebrate.
In less than 24 hours, Scott will take the Oath of Office and be sworn in as Florida’s 45th Governor.
“My job is exactly what I said in the campaign, ‘Let’s Get to Work’, said Scott.
It’s a slick slogan but Scott is facing tough days and grim numbers. Ahead of him a $3.5 billion budget deficit, but he said he’s got a plan.
“I’m going to do everything I can to reduce regulations so if you want to start a business, it’s easier, there’s not government telling you what to do every second,” said Scott.
But sitting in the top office in Tallahassee will be quite different from the offices Scott has known in the business world.
“He can’t be the Chief Executive and say ‘This is how it’s done. I’m not going to take no for an answer’,” said Miami Herald Tallahassee reporter Mary Ellen Klas.
Klas has covered the Capitol ‘goings on’ for The Miami Herald, a CBS4 news partner, for more than two decades. She said before Scott can get anything done, he’ll have to appease the Legislature which is very powerful and can over-ride any gubernatorial veto.
“The legislature, even though they’re all Republican, will say, ‘We know better than you, we’ve been here longer, we’re the experts’, said Klas, “He’s gotta earn their support.”
Scott has said his plan centers around jobs, jobs, jobs. He’s said he wants to do whatever he can to get business to move here.
“We want to get our state back to work, we want to streamline all of our agencies, we want to get rid of regulations, we want to work for your benefit,” said Scott, echoing another popular campaign theme.
Scott said his plans also call for cutting taxes even as schools and cities are screaming for more money. Here’s where he may run into problems with the Legislature because he plans to pay for his tax cuts with budget cuts. He also plans to cut the state workforce by five 5 percent, have employees contribute to their state pensions, merge some state departments, veto costly pet projects that don’t make sense and make changes to Medicade. The goal is to cut the state budget by $13 billion.
“We know we work for you. We have the opportunity to do the right thing so you can get back to work, so everybody can have a job and build your families,” said Scott.
Scott also wants to do away with corporate income tax to make Florida more attractive for companies to bring new jobs.
“We should be the winner, no income tax, a right to work state,” said Scott “We are going to be the place for job creation, with the expansion of economies in Central and South America.”
But according to political pot watchers on ‘The Hill’ – it’s not going to be that easy.
“So far, everybody is singing Kumbaya and very complimentary toward each other. The system is ideally set up to have conflict and I expect we’re going to have conflict pretty quickly,” said Klas.