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Promises made, promises kept: A checklist for Gov. Rick Scott
Promise: Create 700,000 jobs in seven years
How he's done: The state had an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent when Gov. Rick Scott took office in January 2011. That rate steadily decreased the past two years, dropping to 8.1 percent in November 2012. Scott needed to create an average of 8,333 jobs a month starting in January 2011 to create 100,000 per year and reach the 700,000 goal. The fact-checking PolitiFact Florida organization in a Nov. 27, 2012, report said 154,000 jobs had been created since Scott took office. Over the first two years, that's a total of about 40,000 behind on his goal.
Kept or broken? In progress
Promise: Bring Arizona-style immigration law to Florida
How he's done: On the campaign trail, Scott vowed to bring an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida, but has been mostly mum since. Scott did sign an executive order in 2010 requiring state agencies to use E-Verify, a requirement that remains in place. Scott said he would require employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check immigration status, but in June 2012 said asking growers to use the system would be a disadvantage.
Kept or broken? Not yet kept
Promise: Align state employee pension contributions with other states' practices
How he's done: Florida was one of the few states that didn't require employees to contribute to their pension plans, but in 2011 Scott called for a 5 percent pension contribution. The state Legislature passed a law requiring public workers to contribute 3 percent. The Florida Education Association sued Scott over the law. In March 2012, a Tallahassee-based circuit judge overturned the law and ordered the state to return the contributions. But the state appealed; the state Supreme Court took up the question in September but hasn't ruled yet.
Kept or broken? Kept, but courts intervened
Promise: Sell the state's airplanes
How he's done: Scott said on the campaign trail that he would sell the state's planes — a 2000 King Air 350 and a 2003 Cessna Citation Bravo. Those planes went on the auction block Feb. 9, 2011, just a month after Scott took office. The state, according to a February 2011 report in the Tampa Bay Times, authorized the sale of the two planes to out-of-state bidders. The two planes sold for a total of nearly $3.7 million, the newspaper reported.
Kept or broken? Kept
Promise: Tie teacher pay to performance
How he's done: Scott said he wanted to reform the education system so it would reward good teachers and punish bad ones. On March 24, 2011, he signed a bill into law that fulfilled that promise. The bill allows current teachers to keep their standard salary schedule or opt in to a performance pay plan, while new teachers would automatically be put in a performance pay plan. Beginning in 2014, teachers under the performance plan will be rated and those with the best ratings — in this case highly effective — will get the biggest raises. Those with poor ratings — like needs improvement or unsatisfactory — won't get a raise.
Kept or broken? Kept