Senator Joyner on the State of the State

Senator Arthenia Joyner Responds to Governor Rick Scott’s State of the State

State Senator Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) on Tuesday released the following statement on Governor Rick Scott’s “State of the State” address:

“I was very disappointed in the limited vision Governor Scott shared with us in his speech. When he says it’s the ‘Your Money’ budget, he’s right about one thing. But what took him so long to figure that out? It is ‘your money.’ It’s your dollars that were returned to Washington to go to other states when he rejected building high speed rail. It was your money that he continues to reject to expand Medicaid so that Floridians have family doctors as their primary care givers instead of hospital emergency rooms. It was your money that should have gone into building up public education, repaving highways, protecting our water and wetlands, and safeguarding our homes and our streets. Instead, it was your money that went into the pockets of big corporations and connected special interests.

This isn’t the way it should be. A governor should care more about the quality of the jobs he’s creating than the sheer number. Tens of thousands of new jobs might sound great in a bid for reelection, but not when you realize that the bulk of them are among the lowest paying. A governor should embrace diversity in all areas of government, not just to illustrate an illusionary compassion that suddenly appears for speech-giving purposes. And a governor should understand that allowing an agency under his direction to shun the jobless from unemployment compensation they rightfully earned is no way to ensure children have presents at Christmas. Especially when Florida leads the nation in the number of long-term unemployed and their jobs were lost well before the holidays.

Governor Scott said ‘Let’s keep working.’ I would suggest that he still needs to begin.”

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