ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott was at the World Golf Village this morning speaking at the Florida 2011 Rural Summit.
Scott reiterated to the crowd at the economic development event the same themes on which he ran for office: reducing the size of government and making Florida a better place for businesses.
"We all believe that government has enough tax dollars, if they would spend it better," he said.
Florida's Statewide Rural Economic Development Summit focuses on the economic development in rural Florida.
Scott said he wants to make Florida the nation's premier place to live, work and play, and that to do so, the state needs to foster a friendlier business climate by reducing taxes, fees and regulation.
He also said he believes state employees, like employees at many private companies, need to contribute to their retirement plans by paying into their pensions.
Regarding his recent decision to turn down more than $2 billion from the federal government for a high-speed rail between Orlando and Tampa, Scott said it wasn't as simple as turning down free money.
"We're not going to waste money on projects there's ultimately no return," explained Gov. Scott.
He said the risks associated with the project, plus any costs beyond the federal government's contribution, would have to be covered by Florida taxpayers and that those risks do not outweigh the benefits.
First Coast News