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Rick Scott speaks from self-quarantine, ‘optimistic’ Senate will pass COVID-19 bill

Scott says he wants to make sure mandates help, don’t hurt small businesses

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the Senate poised to consider a House aid package on Capitol Hill, Florida Sen. Rick Scott remains in self-imposed isolation after having been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Though not experiencing any symptoms he will remain so until next Monday.

On The Morning Show, Scott talked with News4Jax Anchor Bruce Hamilton about the bill and said he is confident the Senate will pass something this week.

Press the play button above to hear Scott’s full interview on The Morning Show

“I think its going to be are we going to make sure money is directed in the right way to people that are actually impacted by coronavirus? And two: I think it comes down to, you know, how are we going to help our small businesses, not hurt them, through mandates? But I'm very optimistic that we'll get something done,” Scott said. "I think people will come together this week, but I'm very focused on making sure that every community in this country gets prepared to make sure we deal with the coronavirus."

The House bill was passed Saturday with broad bipartisan support and addresses paid sick leave and expands the social safety net for vulnerable children and families. President Donald Trump urged the Senate to quickly pass the measure.

Scott expressed some reservations about the House bill.

“Here's the positive: we want to get something done. There's some very good things in the bill, but we've got to be very careful that we don't hurt our small businesses, who we're hoping to help, with mandates,” Scott said. “Now, historically, mandates went on larger companies. Now this one goes on smaller companies, so I want to make sure that the dollars are spent to help the people that are impacted by coronavirus, and I want to make sure the money is out and any mandates help small businesses, don't hurt small businesses."

That said, he remains confident the president will have something to sign this week. And he added this is just the first of several bills concerning coronavirus he expects Congress to address.

“I just wanna make sure we're spending our dollars in a manner that makes sense and passing mandates in a manner that makes sense,” Scott said.

Scott told Hamilton making sure widespread testing and adequate hospital facilities are available to fight the disease are a priority for both him and his Senate colleagues.