Florida’s governor Rick Scott visited Connecticut Monday, hoping to recruit Connecticut businesses to move to the Sunshine State.
Scott arrived for meeting with Transact Technologies, which manufactures printers for banks and casinos, among others.
The governor said he campaigned on the promise to create jobs and he's accomplished that, whereas Connecticut is losing jobs.
“Whether it’s companies that are moving or individuals that are moving. More people have moved to Florida from Connecticut than any state they’ve moved to. Our taxes are lower, our regulations less, and I just call on companies every day – I go around the country and I go around the world and call on companies to come to Florida.”
Scott explained that businesses should look at the benefits, like lower taxes, and also pointed to statistics that support a healthy workforce in Florida.
“We have 255,000 job openings . We’re down to – out of 21 million people – bigger than New York - we’re down to 60,000 on unemployment and 71,000 people on welfare, because we’ve focused on jobs,” Scott said.
Scott gave a glowing endorsement of tolls, saying they're a great way to guarantee funding for a road. He also pointed out that he has not raised taxes, and pointed out that there are things Connecticut can do to improve its financial standing.
Governor Dannel Malloy countered by reminding residents that Scott hasn't won them all. Recently Florida pushed for Sikorsky to move their headquarters to their state, but Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky's parent company, made a deal to keep the company in Connecticut through at least 2032.
Scott also tried to convince company executives at Stanley Black & Decker to meet with him on this trip, but they declined.
Stanley Black & Decker has been headquartered in New Britain for nearly 175 years.
CFO Donald Allan said the company occasionally receives a phone call from a governor from another state who will want to come visit them.
While the company, which employs 1,600 people in Connecticut and 54,000 globally, said they’re not going anywhere, some Connecticut residents aren’t surprised by Scott’s visit.
“I think they're trying to do the right thing for their state, however we want to make sure we do the right thing for the state of CT,” Allan said in a previous interview.
"We're very vulnerable because we have high taxes and a government right now that's really not inspiring innovation,” said Gerry Goldberg, of West Hartford.
It remains to be seen what will come of Scott's visit at Transact Technologies. He last visited the state in 2015.