NORWALK, Conn. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who wants to bring more businesses to his state, spoke to a group of business leaders in Norwalk on Friday about why Florida has been more successful than Connecticut in growing its economy.
Scott addressed a meeting of about 75 Fairfield County business leaders from various industries at a roundtable discussion Friday morning at the Norwalk Inn. He said that when he came into office four years ago, Florida was facing huge deficits and had lost more than 830,000 jobs. He said he began by cutting taxes and making the state more business friendly.
“The first thing you have to do is stop spending more money,” Scott said. “The result is we have completely turned out economy around. I’ve gone around the country and around the globe recruiting companies to come to Florida.”
Since he took office, Florida has added 879,700 jobs, taxes have decreased and home prices have gone up, Scott said. He said he has also focused on education, and that Florida’s fourth-grade students rank second in the world in reading. He said that it is important that government runs itself like a business, by having clear objectives on what it wants to accomplish and measuring results.
“You’ve got to set goals and work toward that goal,” he said. “It’s about making government more productive, not continuing to waste money. You should expect that your government takes your tax dollars and spends it well. You need to do that at the local level, the state level and the federal level.”
Scott also spoke about some of the burdens placed on businesses and residents, such as high taxes and healthcare costs.
“Obamacare did nothing to control costs,” he said. “If you want to fix healthcare, allow people to compete, allow people to buy the insurance they want to buy, allow insurance companies to sell across state lines, and reward people for taking care of themselves. If you do that, healthcare costs will come down.”
The roundtable was hosted by Steve Obsitnik and Bart Shuldman, and included business leaders who represent more than 30,000 jobs across the state. Scott said that the employers should talk to their employees about issues before elections and how the results could impact their jobs.
“You can change an election,” he said. “If your employees went out and campaigned for somebody, think about what the impact of that would be.”
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