Gov. Rick Scott welcomed back the Legislature to an election-year session Tuesday with an upbeat State of the State speech that centered on creating jobs, holding the line on taxes and spending more on schools.
Addressing a packed House chamber and live TV audience in a halting delivery, Scott struck a cooperative tone and mostly played it safe with his priorities. The Republican governor demanded that lawmakers spend $1 billion more for schools after a $1.3 billion school budget cut last year, an about-face Democrats later mocked as shallow and poll-driven.
“On this point, I just can’t budge,” Scott told lawmakers, whose desks were covered with colorful flower baskets. “I ask you again today to send me a budget that significantly increases state funding for education. This is the single most important decision we can make today for Florida’s future.”