In speech, Nan Rich accuses Rick Scott of “throwing away” billions

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Weston Democrat Nan Rich, so far the only declared candidate for the Florida’s 2014 governor’s race, is accusing state legislators of losing focus on public education, health care and women’s issues.

According to Peter Guinta of the St. Augustine Record, Rich said both Scott and the Legislature “threw away” more than $51 billion by not accepting federal funds for the Affordable Care Act. They also missed billions more by rejecting high-speed rail in the state.

“People feel we’re going in the wrong direction,” Rich said last week to an audience of about 50 in St. Augustine South. “They are unhappy and distressed that the administration and Legislature are not (pursuing) those issues. They want a new direction and new priorities.”

Scott “runs the state like a CEO,” Rich said. “The governor needs to work with the Legislature. He doesn’t get things done. He doesn’t even work with his own party.”

Rich boasted to the crowd of mostly retirees of her role in killing House Bill 867, known as the “Parent Trigger Bill.” The bill would allow parents to petition struggling schools, either to establish a “turnaround plan” listed in state laws or to become a charter school.

Opponents of the so-called “Parent Empowerment Act” saw the bill as an opportunity for private companies to divert resources from public education. Rich rallied 8 Republicans and 12 Democrats to vote against the bill, killing it in a tie.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.