State of the State speeches show Scott's evolution as governor

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott will deliver his eighth and final State of the State address Tuesday on the opening day of the 2018 legislative session.

It's an important tradition as it gives the governor a chance to offer his assessment of the state and to outline past accomplishments and his goals for the 60-day session.

WATCH at 11 a.m. Tuesday: Scott's speech will be streamed on News4Jax.com

But like most opening-day speeches, it will fade quickly into obscurity. It happens to all governors, with a few notable exceptions like the 1991 speech when Gov. Lawton Chiles waved a three-legged wooden stool, making a point about the governor, the House and Senate working together.

The opening-day speech diminishes in importance when compared to the governor's actions at the end of the session, when he must decide what bills to sign or veto and how he will handle his line-item veto power over the annual state budget. Those decisions have a more lasting impact.

Nonetheless, looking back at Scott's seven prior speeches offers a window into his evolution as the leader of the nation's third-largest state and provides an outline of his political legacy. Scott cannot run again in November because of term limits.

Elected as a tea-party conservative in 2010, Scott, a former business executive who had never held a political office, has made job growth the central tenet of his governorship, starting with his campaign slogan of “Let's Get to Work.”

In his annual speeches, Scott has repeatedly underscored Florida's job growth, now citing more than 1.3 million private-sector jobs created since his first inauguration.