For Gov. Rick Scott, the first event of 2016 wasn’t much different those he held in 2015.
Scott kicked of the new year with a job announcement in Fort Myers on Monday. The appearance — where Scott announced R+L Global Logistics planned to create 80 new jobs in Fort Myers over three years — marked one of Scott’s first public appearances of 2016. But while it was a new year, Scott’s message remained the same.
“We had a great 2015, (and) 2016 is going to be a great year,” said Scott, a Naples Republican. “We’re going to add more and more jobs, that’s what I ran on in 2010 and 2014.”
R+L Global Logistics is a logistics company that specializes in domestic and international transportation services. The company recently moved from a 9,000-square-foot facility to a 27,000-square-foot facility. That move, officials said, gives the company room to grow.
During his remarks Monday, Scott said the state needs to “continue to diversify our economy” so it can become less dependent on the tourism and construction industries. Scott said he plans to push state lawmakers to cut taxes and boost the state’s economic development funds during the 2016 legislative session.
“Our legislative session starts in about a week and we’ve got to continue to cut taxes,” he said. “We cut taxes 50 times since I got elected, and my proposals this year is to cut $1 billion in taxes. We have the ability to do that; we have over $3 billion more projected revenue than recurring expenses.”
Scott also used his stop in Southwest Florida to make a pitch for lawmaker to create a new $250 million Florida Enterprise Fund. Scott said increased funding for economic development will help convince companies, like R+L Global Logistics, to expand or relocate to Florida.
“To compete with other states, we need the $250 million in the Florida Enterprise Fund,” he said. “What that will allow us to do is to recruit more companies to either move here or expand here. we have the money in the budget this year to do this.”
Scott is expected to spend much of next week pitching his proposal to cut taxes and boost economic development funding. He’s scheduled to begin a three-day swing — dubbed the “Million Miles for a Million Jobs” bus tour — on Jan. 13 to highlight his proposal.
The annual 60-day legislative session, during which Scott’s proposals will be discussed, starts Jan. 12.