FL: After attempts to reform voting and pensions, Gov. Rick Scott remains a perpetual defendant

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog

TAMPA— In the state of Wisconsin, it took an $80-million recall election to validate Gov. Scott Walker‘s fiscal reforms on public-sector collective bargaining and pension requirements for state employees.

In Florida, where similar legislation has been passed and signed into law, the biggest impediment to Gov. Rick Scott‘s agenda has not been the threat of a recall election but rather myriad lawsuits and constitutional challenges.

In the course of Scott’s 17 months in office, the laws or executive orders that have been held up by a court order or pending legislation include:

  • Requiring drug testing for welfare recipients, halted by Middle District Judge Mary Scriven in October 2011;
  • Requiring drug testing for state employees, struck down by Southern District Judge Ursula Ungaro in April;
  • Requiring public employees to contribute 3 percent to their pension, ruled unconstitutional by Northern District Judge Jackie Fulford in March;
  • Restricting early voting hours and ability of third party groups to register voters,struck down by Northern District Judge Robert Hinkle in May;
  • Privatization of prisons, struck down by Northern District Judge Jackie Fulford in November 2011;
  • Rejection of federal funds for high-speed rail projects, upheld by the State Supreme Court in March 2011;
  • Redrawing electoral districts, rejected by state Supreme Court in March;
  • Prohibiting doctors from asking patients about firearms, struck down by Southern District Judge Marcia Cooke in September 2011;
  • Removing ineligible voters from county voter registration lists, halted by Justice Department order in May.

These are all issues that have served as the core focus for Scott and the Republican majority in the Legislature, elected during the tea party tidal wave of 2010, advocating fiscal responsibility and reduced public spending.

Read more: Florida Watchdog

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, writer, and consumer advocate. His writings and interviews have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and online outlets across the world in multiple languages. He is the founder and editor of Devolution Review and deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center. He was previously a national investigative reporter at Watchdog.org. He has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) from the CEVRO Institute in Prague, and a Bachelor's in Political Science from Concordia University, Montreal. He currently splits his time between Vienna, Austria and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Website https://yael.ca
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