Florida Unemployment

February 27, 2012 by staff 

Florida Unemployment, Gov. Rick Scott emphasized the more than 2 percent drop in the state’s unemployment rate in the past year during his speech Friday at The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches.

The unemployment rate in Florida went from 12 percent to 9.9 percent during that time, making it the second largest drop in the nation, Scott said.

Before 710 members and guests in attendance, Scott spoke about education and putting $1 billion more into public schools for K-12. He also said the state needs less regulation and taxes to attract more businesses to the state. His speech lasted 15 minutes.

Scott said he has three priorities as governor: education, jobs and keeping the cost of living low.

“We started the process of reducing business taxes for small companies,” Scott said. “Education we said will be 100 percent for the benefit of children. We got rid of tenure … we allowed for expansion of successful charter schools. We’re starting the process of fixing our pension programs. … And we started the process of getting rid of regulation. It just kills jobs.”

One of the most pressing issues Scott said he is focusing on is the number of fraudulent personal injury protection auto insurance claims. More than $1 billion worth of fraudulent claims are made each year, which is driving up the cost of the PIP portion of auto insurance coverage at a rate of 30 percent a year, he said.

“The biggest thing we can do this year to reduce the cost of living in the state is to get rid of PIP fraud,” Scott said. “We are the number one state for staged auto accidents in the country. They’ll stage an accident so someone can make money off it.”

Scott said he will run for a second term, when asked during the question-and-answer session.

In response to questions from reporters, Scott said he interviewed three of the 11 candidates who have applied to fill the vacancy of Palm Beach County state attorney when Michael McAuliffe leaves the post on March 16. McAuliffe is leaving to work at Bill Koch’s Oxbow Carbon.

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