Rick Scott Takes Oath As Florida's 45th Governor listen01/04/11 Janelle Irwin
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Rick Scott was sworn in as Florida’s 45th governor this morning in Tallahassee. Scott addressed the crowd with a message of prosperity in a struggling economy. Scott’s first public address as governor focused on creating jobs for Floridians.
Governor-Elect Rick Scott shed the ‘elect’ from his title this morning as he was sworn in as governor. The oath taken by Scott as he entered office was met with applause from attendees.
"I, Rick Scott, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the constitution and government of the United States and of the State of Florida. That I am duly qualified to hold office under the constitution of the state. That I will well and faithfully perform the duties of governor of which I am now about to enter, so help me God."
Scott focused predominately on creating a stronger job market for the state to lower unemployment rates. Scott said unemployment is an issue that elicits personal feelings for him.
"My father was often laid off. My mother took in ironing just so we could have food on the table. I have a clear memory of their fear and uncertainty as they strove to provide for five kids. So, for me, job creation is an absolute mission."
Scott said that the private sector can serve as an adequate source for jobs and urged that government is not the answer.
"Faced with a deep recession some say the answer is to expand the role of government. That's the approach the administration is taking in Washington. That is absolutely the wrong approach."
Scott says he plans to tackle taxation, litigation and regulation. These are the three areas he called the “axis of unemployment” that are hindering Florida from being a hub for big business. Scott says reducing taxes will play a large roll in his plan.
"Florida has wisely refused to impose an income tax. Under my plan we'll eliminate the business tax and reduce the property tax. The State of Florida raises enough revenues to meet it's needs."
Scott also plans to put a stop to excessive lawsuits through strict tort reform. He says that allowing frivolous lawsuits to continue will not be tolerated under his administration.
"Every Floridian should have the right to access the court system for redress of harm. But we will not allow excessive lawsuits to strangle job creation. And we will not allow a small group of predatory lawyers to stalk the business community in search of deep pockets."
Scott also announced his first official act as governor. He said that regulations need to be evaluated for accuracy and necessity and signed an executive order today that will initiate fiscal accountability through regulatory reform.
"Today I will sign an executive order creating a state office of fiscal accountability and regulatory reform to review all proposed and existing regulations to determine their impact on job creation."
Scott says he isn’t concerned about the future of Floridians because we have a history of resilience. He says our current crisis is just as solvable as all those that came before.
"Every generation of Floridians have faced such challenges and every generation has been resilient. In the 1880's yellow fever hollowed out entire communities. In the Depression of the 1930's more than one in five families required relief funds to survive. In the 1940's over a quarter of a million Floridians served in uniform and their worried families were sometimes short of basic necessities. In every decade we've had to rebuild after horrific hurricanes. After adversity Florida has always come back stronger. Our current problems are absolutely solvable."
Florida’s three new cabinet members were also sworn in today: Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam, and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
"I, Pamela Jo Bondi, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the constitution and government of the United States and of the State of Florida."
"I Adam Putnam, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States and of the State of Florida."
"And that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of Chief Financial Officer."
Scott also signed three other executive orders today that will require the use of the E-verify system to verify the employment eligibility of state employees and contractors. The orders also establish his policy on ethics and open government and reaffirm his commitment to diversity in government.