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California Dreamin': Why Florida wants jobs from the Golden State

California's job recovery is well underway and other states are looking to get in on the action.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has scheduled a business-recruitment trip to California next week and he's ratcheted up the effort by taking out radio ads blasting the Golden State's $15 minimum wage. The Republican governor also is getting personal by taking on the "tax and spend administration" of Jerry Brown, California's Democratic governor.

"California is one of the worst states for taxes," Scott said in a telephone interview. "We're one of the best states for taxes. We're heading in the right direction and California is absolutely heading in the wrong direction."

Scott is scheduled to arrive in California on Sunday and plans to have meetings with businesses on Monday and Tuesday. He's also scheduled to be on a panel at the Milken Institute's Global Conference in Beverly Hills on Monday.

A year ago, Scott made a similar business-recruitment trip to California but came home with little to show for it.

"I think it's more about the governors than about the jobs," said Joel Kotkin, a presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University in Orange, California.

Surfer California
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Scott, who is in his second term as governor, also has targeted Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Connecticut. Last month, he invited Yale University to move to Florida after Connecticut lawmakers sought to tax profits from the Ivy League school's $25.6 billion endowment.

"These states that have governors raising taxes and regulation and having an anti-business attitude, it's just helping us to get more jobs in our state," Scott said.

As for Scott's radio ads in California, they take aim at the state raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The ads are running in the Los Angeles and the San Francisco markets. When asked about the ads, Scott responded: "We're running them … and it's basically move your business to Florida. We don't have a $15 minimum wage; we're not heading in that direction."

The ads from Enterprise Florida, a private-public entity, feature two women talking about job losses, with one telling another about "700,000 — that's how many California jobs will be lost thanks to the California politicians raising the minimum wage." Eventually, the conversation comes to one saying, "It's time to leave California. This place is beautiful but you just can't afford to live here."

In announcing the "trade mission" to California, Scott said Brown's "tax and spend administration has spent the past year passing laws that make it even harder for businesses to succeed. As Governor Brown works diligently to drive businesses away from California, Florida can partner in providing locations for job creators who are looking to grow jobs and opportunities for families."

"As one of the millions of tourists flocking to the Golden State this time of year, we'd like to extend a warm welcome to the governor," Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said in a statement to CNBC. "We can understand why he's back — there's lots to do and plenty to learn. In fact, since his last 2,000 mile cross-country jaunt, California has added twice as many jobs as Florida, while paying down debt, building a robust rainy day fund and taking bold action on issues Governor Scott continues to ignore, like climate change and poverty."

Earlier this month, the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development awarded Florida-based Magic Leap, a virtual reality firm, a $3.3 million tax credit for bringing nearly 150 jobs to California.

Under Brown, California has become more aggressive at cutting red tape, and his economic development agency adopted a Lean Six Sigma approach to state regulations and permitting. What that means is the agency trains state officials, regulators, permitting departments and other agencies on how to increase their efficiency rates.

Scott isn't buying it. "We operate our government more efficiently. I've cut 4,200 regulations since I got elected in 2010. We've also streamlined the permitting process."

The latest figures show that about 420,800 jobs were added in California in the 12 months ending in March. Florida added 234,300 jobs during the period. Last year, California created nearly 460,000 jobs, or more than Florida and Texas combined.

Nonetheless, California has seen some setbacks in the recovery.

In 2014, Toyota North America announced it would be moving its corporate offices and about 3,000 jobs from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas. The same year, Occidental Petroleum said it would move its LA headquarters to Houston. Additionally, California-based Tesla decided to build its $5 billion gigafactory in Nevada, and Chinese-backed electric company Faraday Future, based in Southern California, plans to build its $1 billion automotive factory in Nevada.

Still, California remains the nation's No. 1 state for manufacturing output, jobs and exports. The state has an estimated 38,000 manufacturing companies. The next closest state is Texas with under 19,000.

Scott dismisses the California job-creation figures and contends it's an unfair comparison given California has a population of about 39 million while Florida has about half that number, 20 million people. "If you look at job growth rate and you look at wage growth rate, and you look at labor force rate, we're beating the national average and we're beating California."

He also touted Florida's 15 cargo container seaports and added that the state has "four of the fastest-growing ports in the country. It's because we've made big infrastructure investments. Also helping us … California continues to go on strike every so often. And we've got the expansion of the Panama Canal."