In a world where we are bombarded by news 24/7, a State of the State Address is a Governor’s one big chance of the year to put his points across in a confident, reassuring manner, boosting local morale and offering solutions to pressing problems. Unfortunately, Florida has a political honcho with an all-time low approval rating who hasn’t inspired much confidence since he took office in 2011.
After year of opposing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the flip-flopping Scott now supports Medicaid Expansion. That’s great news for potential and existing Medicaid recipients bordering the poverty line, but it doesn’t instill much faith in Scott’s reliability.
Scott will deliver his address on the 2013 legislative session’s opening day, March 5th, in the House chambers. He will talk about removing sales tax on manufacturing equipment, raising pay for teachers by $2,500 and creating more jobs in an improving economy.
We’re betting that he won’t mention that Florida’s economic recovery from the latest Recession has been slower than the national average, or that the state has one of the country’s worst foreclosure rates.
According to a 2012 report from FIU’s Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP), only 96,600 of the 715,200 jobs lost statewide in the Great Recession have been recovered. Nor will the Governor address the problems that Floridians face such as rising rent costs, benefit cuts, or the lack of rights and wages for immigrants and low-paid workers.
We hope that Scott succeeds in boosting the state’s optimism in these uncertain times. But it will be an empty success if he ignores the everyday problems that we encounter.