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Rick Scott pushes tax cuts, job creation in State of the State

Scott pushes $1 billion tax cut to help small businesses grow

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott is pushing lawmakers to pass $1 billion in tax cuts and to create a $250 million enterprise fund to help expand Florida businesses.

That was the focus of his State of the State speech Tuesday as he boasted that the state has created more than 1 million jobs since he took office five years ago.

"While, I am pleased to report to you today that the State of Florida is growing, I must confess that our work has just begun," Scott said. "Now, we face the mighty task of keeping job creation going strong. Now, we must set our sights even higher to make sure we do not fall back. Now, we must be dedicated to making Florida not second to Texas, but, first in the nation for job growth for years to come."

Scott featured several successful Florida businesses in the speech, including a million-dollar company started by a 13-year-old Boca Raton girl, Rachel Zietz, now 15, who is the founder and CEO of Gladiator Lacrosse.

"Like any competitive athlete, Rachel said she wanted to practice lacrosse as much as possible, but she found the quality of her gear wasn’t holding up.  Every few months she was purchasing more equipment…and she said it was getting expensive," Scott said. "Rachel decided to do something about it and she created her own line of lacrosse gear to meet her standards. Between school, homework and lacrosse practice, Rachel now runs her own online company, which had over $ 1 million in revenue in just two years."

Scott also focused on cutting taxes in his speech.

"With record state revenues, we have the opportunity to diversify our economy and help our small businesses grow by cutting taxes by $1 billion dollars," Scott said. "I've never heard of a businessperson who wanted to grow a smaller business. If we put more money in their pockets, they will spend it on research, new equipment and hiring to create more jobs."

The speech came as the Legislature began its 60-day session. After pressing lawmakers to pass his tax package, Scott will leave Wednesday on a statewide bus tour to promote his proposals.