Governor Scott pledges increased education funding, jobs, lower cost of living

Governor makes "State of the State" address

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Signaling the start of the new legislative session in Florida, Governor Rick Scott stood in front of state legislators and outlined his priorities in his "State of the State" address.

The key areas Governor Scott focused on were jobs, schools and the cost of living.

The first element he spent time on was in creating jobs and stronger workforce.

"The picture last year compared to now, you would know by looking behind me here in the career center," said Patrick Cannan of Workforce Alliance, in reference to the shorter lines this year.

Cannan said there are a few indicators the job market is heading in the right direction. He said the unemployment rate in Palm Beach County is going down slightly, but it is steady.

According to Cannan, less people are coming into the career center, and when the unemployed do come into Workforce Alliance, there are more employers offering more jobs.

"The jobs are coming back, the positions are opening up. I think the future will get gradually better, not over night, but gradually better," said Cannan.

Governor Scott also drew the connection between jobs and education.

"The bedrock of any sound, sustainable economy is an educated workforce," said Scott. The key word the governor emphasized was "educated."

Governor Scott made a pledge of funneling $1 billion of new funding for Florida schools.

"We're encouraged that the governor recognizes that. We're also going to be watching out state legislators to see what they do," said Palm Beach Schools interim superintendent Wayne Gent.

Gent said depending on what happens at both the state and federal level, the district could still face millions in budget cuts. But he feels what Governor Scott is saying is a step in the right direction.

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