Governor details plan to save state $2.8B

February 2nd, 2011 by Staff

NAPLES: Governor Rick Scott announced part of his plan to run the state like a private business on Monday. He made the announcement at one of the largest private employers in Naples.

Surrounded by private employees, the governor announced his plan to make state employees help balance the budget.

Under the proposal, state employees would put 5-percent of their salary into the Florida Retirement system. That would save the state $2.8 billion over 2 years.

“Private companies know you can’t have a definite benefit plan you can’t afford or pay for it. They got away from it years ago. Governments haven’t done that,” said Scott.

Announcing the plans at Arthrex was symbolic. Scott believes if the state is forced to manage its money like private businesses, it could attract more companies.

“They’re going to do it if we make this state most conducive to starting businesses. So part of that is being fair to taxpayers and state government employees,” said Scott.

Arthrex has been key in the fallout of a potential new company’s plans to come to Southwest Florida.

Jackson Labs recently pulled their request for state funding to move a biomedical research company to Collier County.

Arthrex threatened to leave Florida if the company’s move to the state was supported by public funds.

“We both agreed that was good. It passed us by and let’s get back to work,” said Arthrex President Reinhold Schmieding.

Schmieding says those potential jobs lost could be made- up at his company.

He says 150 new jobs will be added this year thanks to confidence in the state’s new governor.

“Our intent is to stay in Southwest Florida. We’re very dedicated to this community. I’ve been here for 20 years. My kids are here, my employees are here and staying here is our intent,” said Schmieding.

Scott needs to trim nearly $4-billion to balance the state’s $70-billion budget.

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