JEB BUSH AT STATE FAIR-Andrew Stelzer

02/13/06

Today was governors day at the Florida state fair, and over 1000 people gathered at the fairgrounds for a luncheon, which included remarks by governor Jeb Bush as he heads into the final year of his last term. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer was there and filed this report. Tampa mayor Pam Iorio, congressman Jim Davis and Adam Putnam, and George Steinbrenner were just a few of the elected officials and business leaders who came to the governor’s day luncheon. Eth governor was introduced by state agriculture commissioner Charles Bronson, who called bush the leader of one of the most progressive states in the country.

ACT-Bronson “a man who bet the farm on educational programs, and while these been a lot of debate, I can tell you with the gov pushing those programs, I can attest 50 percent more children can read at grade level than were leading at grade level when he walked into office…..whatever you believes, they work.�

Bush began his speech y listing some statistics he believes show how the state has gone through positive economic changes since he took office more than 7 years ago.

ACT-Jeb “since 1999 we’ve created 1.15 million jobs…we’ve led the nation in job growth percentage increase in job growth low unemployment we have job shortages how do we make sure we have the nurses and engineers that fill jobs..�

But the governor acknowledged that affordable housing is becoming more and more rare , and that higher paying jobs need to be created for people to afford to own their own homes. Bush said he hopes the legislature will support his own proposals for 650 million dollars in economic development incentives, which will create high wage jobs in the state.

ACT-Jeb “my proposal includes $ for a quick acting closing fund..startup money…100 million for world calls schlors..100 million for centers of excellence�

The governor also said that Florida must diversify its agricultural economy, which he said is under peril.

ACT-Jeb “the future of Florida ag may not be in growing crops..growing demand for energy creates opportunities for Florida farmers. source for cars and power plants..im recommending 60 million in tax incentives to increase production of ethanol and fuel..id much prefer to be dependent of sugar that tyrants in the middle east..�

And Bush said that Florida emergency preparedness and response system, which he believes is the best in the nation, still has to improve.

ACT “while our first responders are the best, we want every emergency operations center will with stand a CAT 3..�

WMNF asked Governor Bush why he only wants to make the EOCs able to withstand category 3 storms.

ACT-Jeb

WMNF also asked the governor Bush about his plans to reward teachers financially depending on the FCAT scores of their students—a plan that is opposed by the Florida education association.

ACT-Jeb “thats not quite true, that what they want you to think..it been on the books..whats wrong about paying teachers more for performing better, it happens in the broadcasting business, it has a desired results…WHY ARE YOUR REFORMS OPPOSED>.because they like the power of collective bargaining, I view it as getting children to learn, pay for performance had support of the legislature…many teachers are against anything..�

Bush was also asked if there will be a permanent replacement for James Crosby, the recently dismissed head of the Department of corrections, who may soon be facing criminal charges. Bush said its too soon to tell who might replace Crosby—for now, James R. McDonough, the director of the Governor's Office of Drug Control, has been named interim secretary of the agency.

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

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