Today marks the beginning of the Florida legislative session, with more than a two thirds majority of Republicans in both houses, but a new Republican Governor who fought the establishment and won the Governorship, and has acted as if he is a monarch, since he became Governor nine weeks ago!
Despite his involvement in Medicare scams in the 1990s, for which he should have gone to federal prison instead of paying heavy fines, Scott utilized $73 million of his own fortune to win the Governorship by the smallest margin in Florida history, about 50,000 votes. He was the only Governor candidate nationally, and actually the only wealthy person to win public office mostly based on his personal fortune, other than Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. Like Ron Johnson, he ran as the anti establishment candidate of the Tea Party Movement, and he has already shown evidence that he does not wish to cooperate with his own party leadership, and to act stubborn and inflexible, and ignore the news media as much as he can.
Scott has enraged many, including his own Republican Party, by canceling the bullet train project from Orlando to Tampa, turning down $2.4 billion, which now will go elsewhere, while Florida lags on planning future transportation needs in central Florida.
Scott has refused to allow a prescription data base to keep track of pill mills, which have become endemic in South Florida, and with Florida leading the nation with drug addicts based on illegal pill prescriptions, on the basis of privacy rights, even though 42 other states have such databases. This is insane, with the reality that there are more pill mills in Broward County, Florida, alone than there are McDonalds or Starbucks in that county, with its main center being Fort Lauderdale.
Scott sold two state jet airplanes without legislative permission, and that will lead to increased costs for future Governors when they need to purchase a plane, as Scott is using his own private plane, and not thinking of future costs.
Scott unveiled his two year budget plan before a Tea Party crowd, rather than before Republican colleagues or the mainstream news media. He is calling for more than $3 billion in cuts in education and health care, while drastically decreasing corporate income taxes and property taxes by $1.7 billion, and cutting state regulation of utilities and insurance companies. College tuitions would skyrocket, and Scott has rejected taking federal funds to start implementation of the Obama Health Care Plan, and is fighting in court to repeal it.
Scott also wants to end teacher tenure, force major pension contributions by state workers, cut unemployment benefits and Medicaid, privatize state prisons, and end collective bargaining as is being attempted in Wisconsin and Ohio, and already exists in Indiana.
Scott is a nightmare even to his own party, and although they are very conservative, many of them are upset at his haughty, arrogant, dictatorial approach, as if there is no legislature or courts, and that somehow he expects that everything he wants to do will be done because KING RICK wants it so!
There is, as reported earlier, a move to pass a recall law, and some even wonder if Scott could someday face impeachment if he refuses to recognize the role of compromise, even within his own party in the legislature, let alone considering the opposition.
Florida seems to be on the road to total disaster, with the state, already in the bottom ten in education and other social services, about to face a political, social and economic crisis that will put it front and center, even ahead of Wisconsin and Ohio and other states with “bully” Governors!