'Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle:' Gov. Rick Scott answers questions

Florida's economy, schools, drilling and more

What’s ahead for Florida’s economy? More casinos? Who is accountable for improving schools? Florida Gov. Rick Scott answers those and other questions from the Daily News editorial board, and this week’s "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle’’ presents the highlights on Sunday morning at 10 on ABC7.

Scott also sizes up drilling for oil in and off Florida and Cuba; the health of the Gulf of Mexico; presidential politics; federal subsidies; and what he has learned since taking office.

Text and video highlights of this and past programs are available at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.

Here are excerpts:

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NewsMakers: Rick Scott, part 1

What’s ahead for Florida’s economy?

NewsMakers: Rick Scott, part 2

What’s ahead: More casinos?

NewsMakers: Rick Scott, part 3

Who is accountable for improving schools?

NDN: Were you sorry to see the Jackson Laboratory project proposed for Collier County wind up in Connecticut?

Scott: I know that they decided not to ultimately apply (for state funding), so I never saw the final numbers. So if it was something that was going to get a return for the state tax dollars that would be put into it, I would be interested. But the little I saw, it wasn’t, but I didn’t see a final proposal.

NDN: What are the prospects for drilling for oil in the Everglades and elsewhere?

Scott: I don’t think ... there’s not going to be any drilling in the Everglades. You know we have some in ... what is it, the ... ?

NDN: Big Cypress.

Scott: Yes, Big Cypress. So there’s some there. But there’s not going to be any drilling in the Everglades ...

First off, right now our biggest issue is the drilling off Cuba. So right now, if you ask me where our biggest risk is, it’s to make sure that ... and we’ve focused on it ... but make sure that the drilling is done properly and that we have a plan if there is a blowout.

The Coast Guard has ... I met with the Coast Guard; they have plans and you know you just hope that they have ... that they’ve put in all safeguards they need and it doesn’t happen. And then you hope that ... you know, because it all would come up the Gulf Stream, that this gets pushed out. And if not, that’s all our beaches up there.

But on the other issue ... on just pure ... on whether we should be doing offshore drilling or not, what I said all along, is that we shouldn’t do it unless we are very comfortable that we can do it fairly ... I mean safely ... because look at what happened last year with the BP oil spill and the devastating impact it had on the entire state. And didn’t really get oil; hardly any oil on our beaches, but it was devastating to the economy up there and it appears it impacted the whole state’s economy.

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