WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott pushed Friday for changes to the state's auto insurance law, saying it could be the single greatest factor in reducing residents' cost of living.
Speaking in West Palm Beach, Scott said costs associated with motorists' personal injury protection, or PIP, inordinately affect the poor and must be addressed.
A House bill, which the Republican governor supports, aims to bring down such costs, but opponents have called it anti-consumer. Taking questions from reporters after his speech, Scott said addressing PIP was a top priority.
"It's an unbelievable tax on our citizens," he said. "It's probably the thing that we can have the biggest impact on reducing the cost of living in the state."
Scott addressed a wide range of topics in his address to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, a business and community group.
- He said the state universities should work more as a system and eliminate cross-school competition. "We don't have to have 11 different places where you can get the exact same degree," Scott said.
- He said he hasn't seen a school prayer bill making its way through the House.
- He said he won't make an endorsement in the Republican presidential primary. "I think the citizens ought to pick those on their own," Scott said.
- Though Scott has included money in his budget proposal for the Florida Forever land-purchasing program, which is part of Everglades restoration efforts, he said state ownership of massive blocks of land wasn't the goal. "I don't believe it's our goal that the state ought to own all the land," he said. "Our goal is to say, 'What land do we need to make sure that we have restored the Everglades, but we continue to allow business to happen in the state?'"
- Scott also confirmed he would run for re-election in 2014, no surprise since he has talked of a second term since he earned the Republican nomination and based his core campaign promise of jobs creation on earning another four years.
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