TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - During a stop at Port Tampa Bay Monday, Florida Sen. Rick Scott vowed to get the state millions of dollars the federal government pledged to help cover various port projects throughout the state.
"I'd like to get our $140 million back, so we can continue to invest those dollars in our ports, that the feds should have given us while I was governor," said Scott during Monday's press conference in Tampa.
With his new Fighting for Florida budget agenda, he said he'll go to bat for the state and ensure that Florida is paid what it's owed.
"It's work to get federal resources," said Scott. "But they're supposed to be a partner in our ports. That's their job."
In addition to the $140 million Florida is owed, the senator wants more federal resources to help improve infrastructure and increase port security.
"When we invest in our ports, we get more jobs. As we invest these dollars, we invest in more cranes, we improve our berthing, we do the dredge projects, we continue to get more and more [better] paying jobs," said Scott.
At Port Tampa Bay, the progress from port projects is already beginning to be felt.
"Right here in our seaport, we are just completing this week the dredging of the Big Bend Channel which will allow bigger ships, more jobs, and more economic impact," said Paul Anderson, the CEO with Port Tampa Bay.
As governor, Scott vowed to make the future of Port Tampa Bay, along with the 14 other seaports around Florida, a priority. He said he'll continue to make it a priority in the Senate as well.
"What I did as governor is try to figure out what are the most important things we can get done each year, and I'm going to do the same thing as U.S. Senator," state Scott.
He hopes to ensure Florida's ports continue to pave the way as a leader both nationally and globally.