Florida Gov. Rick Scott gives annual 'State of the State' speech as Legislature opens 2014 session

12:47 PM, Mar 4, 2014   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Video: Gov. Rick Scott gives annual "State of the State" speech

Florida Gov. Rick Scott gives his annual State of the State speech on Tuesday. Sceen capture courtesy The Florida Channel



TALLAHASSEE, Florida (WTSP/AP) - Republican Gov. Rick Scott is touting Florida's improving economy in a State of the State speech that makes a case for re-election as much as it lays out his plan for the final year of his first term.

In the prepared version of Tuesday's address, Scott talks about the economic mess Florida was in when he took office just more than three years ago.

He then discusses Florida's improving employment picture and takes credit for making the state more business friendly by cutting regulations and lowering taxes.

Scott could be facing his predecessor, Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, when he seeks a second term in November. Without naming Crist, the speech clearly draws a contrast in the state's economy during each of the governor's terms.

Also happening in Tallahassee on Tuesday, Florida legislators began their their annual 60-day session.

In his own opening speech, House Speaker Will Weatherford called on legislators to let qualified Florida students pay in-state college tuition even if they are in the country illegally.

Weatherford told House members it was "hurting" kids to force them to pay higher tuition rates if they were brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

The Wesley Chapel Republican said that children should not be punished "for the mistakes of their parents."

Scott to hold Facebook Q&A

Gov. Scott announced Tuesday he'd host his first ever live Facebook Q&A on Tuesday afternoon.

Beginning at 4:30 p.m., Facebook users can pose questions for the Governor at www.facebook.com/scottforflorida

Lawmakers set agenda for new session

Legislators plan to debate everything from guns to gambling. There are also legislative proposals to raise highway speed limits, let grocery stores sell liquor, and end the use of red-light cameras.

Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz want to expand the use of private school vouchers and place restrictions on the type of retirement benefits available to future public employees. The Florida Legislature is also expected to go along with Scott's plan to cut taxes and fees by more than $500 million.

You may also like...

Beach Treasure: Lost wedding ring found 8 months later

Nudist Lawsuit: Blind woman sues for having service dog refused

Reptile Invasion: Exotic "tegu lizards" taking over Tampa Bay

Dream Date: High schooler taking NFL cheerleader to the prom

Underwater Secret: Hidden caves beneath Weeki Wachee

Send in the Clowns: Clown shortage threatens the nation

Sasquatch on Tour: "Dead Bigfoot" on display in Texas

Eat Up: Yoga mat chemical found in hundreds of store foods

#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Most Watched Videos