Florida Gov. Rick Scott dropped by the Miami suburb of Doral on Monday to trumpet tax cuts in the budget state lawmakers approved Friday -- even though they're only about half of what he had had asked for in January.
Standing at Sergio's Restaurant, Scott started a chant in English and Spanish -- "Cut my taxes! Cut my taxes! Recorta mis impuestos! Recorta mis impuestos!" -- and held up his iPhone to note the state's communications tax charged on most cell phone and cable TV bills will drop to 4.92 percent from 6.65 percent, saving an average person about $20 a year from a monthly bill of $100.
Asked about getting less from legislators than he sought, Scott still declared himself "excited."
"I'm excited that we got $400 million in tax cuts. I want to thank all the legislators that helped get that done," he said. "We cut taxes every year. Before this year, 40 tax cuts; $400 million this year. I'm not going to complain.... This is a good budget year."
He wouldn't say if the budget has too much spending on lawmakers' pet projects, or go into detail on how he plans to pick which items to veto.
"I'll be going through the budget like I've done every year," he said. "I started working on it this weekend.... The same way I go through it every time, I make sure it's good for all Florida families. I'm going to watch your money. I want to continue to make sure we have tax cuts."
Scott highlighted Sergio's, a local 40-year-old chain, for being owned by a Cuban-American woman, Blanca Gazitúa, who was the first Hispanic woman named to the National Restaurant Association, according to her son Carlos Gazitúa, Sergio's chief executive.
The governor told the story of a former server, Mónica Alarcón, an immigrant and mother pregnant with another child who stood next to him before reporters. She now manages hospitality training over 250 employees.
"Started out as a waitress -- probably 10 years old, very young," Scott joked. "Now she's a big shot.... It's great to watch [someone] build a business."