Governor Scott Visits Panama City; Talks Zimmerman Verdict - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Governor Scott Visits Panama City; Talks Zimmerman Verdict, Dozier School

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Florida Governor, Rick Scott, makes a stop in Panama City on Wednesday to co-host a town hall focused on legislation for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

The Governor joined APD Director, Barbara Palmer, for a closer look at the 1.1 billion dollars Scott has made available for funding in the 2014 Florida Families First Budget.

The Governor was flanked by Representatives Jimmy Patronis and Matt Gaetz.

Scott explained a 36 million dollar investment will be instrumental in bringing 750 people off the APD waiting list so they may receive services needed to participate in the community and find employment.

Community advocates, including some with disabilities themselves, focused on issues like transportation and the availability of resources in rural areas as necessities for regulation in this current session.

Scott said he's proud of the progress towards helping these individuals.

"I feel really good this year that we have a better budget; we had support from the legislature, from both these members of legislature to put more money into the wait list. I'm appreciative of Barbara Palmer and everybody at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. They've done a good job of making sure they live within their budget, which makes it easy to put more money in the budget, so this is a good year for persons with disabilities," said Scott.

Scott also took time to address several hot button Florida issues, including thoughts on the George Zimmerman decision.

Governor Scott hasn't been able to escape the questions from many who have been since divided by the verdict.

Pro-Trayvon riots and protests have been common across the nation, especially in central Florida.

Speaking to News 13 following Wednesday's town hall, Scott spoke briefly about the trial that has sparked comments from high profile celebrities, political pundits and even the president.

Scott was careful not to give his own views, just to reflect upon the sadness of a family who lost a son and another family who could have.

"One thing is we shouldn't politicize this. This is a 17 year old young man who lost his life. I met with Trayvon Martin's parents. I introduced them to the FDLE, I let them know that we were bringing in a new special prosecutor, but your heart goes out to them. I also want to thank the 6 female jurors that put their lives on hold, served on the jury. I'm sure it was very emotional in making that decision."

Scott also addressed the recent ruling by the State Department against the exhumation of bodies at the former Dozier School for Boys in Mariana.

He said his heart goes out to the families who were involved and he is proud that, under his administration, Dozier School was shut down.