Tallahassee, FL - In just two months on the job Governor Rick Scott has made some bold moves and formidable foes… Thursday the rookie governor gave us an exclusive five minute interview. We asked how his decisions have affected his relationship with the legislature.
Scott: I know they’re just as committed as I am on education and getting the state back to work so I feel very hopeful that the right things are going to happen.
Whitney: but it hasn’t been without conflict. You’re 65 days into your first term. You sold the state planes. Lawmaker balked at that. You declined money for high speed rail. Two senators sued you. Does this signify a bumpy road through the rest of the legislative session?
Scott: Everybody knows that I campaigned that I was going to sell the state planes. I did. That’s what I believe in and that’s what our legislature is very supportive of.
Yes and No. Some lawmakers wanted to sell the planes… but say the Governor broke the law when he put them on the auction block without legislative approval.
In his state of the state address Scott told lawmakers to pass his budget… which cuts spending and taxes by more than four billion dollars… but lawmakers have their own plans….
Whitney: If the legislature doesn’t give you close to what you ask for, are you prepared to veto that and call them back for a special session?
Scott: I’m very comfortable with that, but they’re committed to the same thing I am.
Through our five minutes of questions Scott stayed positive and on message. But when we asked about his recent victory against two lawmakers who sued him for turning down high speed rail money… Scott lit up.
Whitney: How big was that victory for you?
Scott: that was a fun day.
But Scott’s victory in the state’s highest court hasn’t won him a lot of friends in the state legislature, and in fact, a ridership report released Wednesday shows that high speed rail would have been profitable.
The Department of Transportation study predicted a 10 million dollar surplus in the first year…. And 30 million annually after a decade…. Scott admits he’s not afraid to make the tough choices that irk his critics.
“My job is to make this state the most likely to succeed,” said Scott.
The next two months will be the filled with conflict… but maybe not compromise from the head-strong governor. We got a change to ask Scott about his future plans and if the White House was in them. Scott smiled… and said he’s focused on being governor this job.