Governor Scott calls for tax and fee cuts during final State of the State speech

Gov. Scott delivers last state of state address
Posted at 5:46 PM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 17:47:48-05

$87 billion is up for grabs in the governor's budget and everything from how to pay for hurricane Irma, education, and Florida's opioid crisis will be debated this session.

Tax cuts are definitely on the table, but it's what governor Scott also said about a growing movement, in this country, that could make headlines far beyond Florida.

Governor Rick Scott had a smile on his face as he entered the Florida House of Representatives for the final time to deliver his last State of the State address.

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As lawmakers go into this session trying to figure out how pay for hurricane Irma, Governor Scott is in a generous mood as he considers a run for the U.S. senate.

He proposed a budget full of freebies, everything from expanding the sales tax holiday to three weeks and cutting the fees for renewing driver licenses in half, to spending $12 million on education programs for displaced students from Puerto Rico and offering free tuition to the families of fallen first responders and military members.

On top of all that, the governor wants his tax cuts to become permanent.

"I want 2018 to be the year that Florida voters pass a constitutional amendment that makes it harder for politicians to raise taxes," said the governor.

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The governor also joined the growing tide of voices against sexual harassment.

After a year in which Tallahassee itself became embroiled in scandal with allegations of misconduct against Senator Jack Latvala, the governor is proposing new legislation and adding protections for state employees who are victims or witness abuse.

"Unfortunately, we have seen this play out all over the country, including Tallahassee. Things have got to change, and it starts right here in this building," said governor Scott.

So why is the governor in a giving mood?

Apart from appealing to voters for his possible U.S. senate run, he's also benefiting from a Florida economy that is much stronger than when he faced a deficit of $3.6 billion his first year in office.