Gov. Rick Scott appeared on Greta Van Susteren's show on Fox News Monday night and sounded resigned to the fact that the Legislature won't give him the tax cuts and school spending surge that he promised Florida voters when he ran for re-election last year.
"What I believe is going to happen is this," Scott said. "We'll just have a continuation budget, which will mean we'll have about an $8 billion surplus We'll just do what we've done this last year. We won't put more money into schools, which I wanted to do. We won't cut taxes, which I wanted to do. We'll just leave the money there and deal with it in our next session which starts in January."
Cutting taxes still remains a priority of the House. The Senate supports using general revenue tax money to shore up hospitals facing the loss of federal low-income pool money. The state would not have anything close to an $8 billion surplus unless the Legislature decides to put no money into cash reserves, which it likely would never do.
On Fox, Scott also defended his double flip on Medicaid expansion. He opposed 'Obamacare' when he ran Conservatives for Patients Rights before he ran for governor in 2010. Then he came out in favor of full-blown Medicaid expansion in 2013, before siding with the House this spring in opposing the Senate's modified Medicaid expansion plan that has prompted the current legislative stalemate.
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"I said at the time (in 2013), I will not stand in the way of the federal government if they want to take care of the low-income families," Scott said. "I said the same thing about high-speed rail. If the federal government wants to run a program in my state, have at it. But don't expect me to tax my citizens, and I still stand by that."