Florida's Freshman Governor has overruled voters, refused to sign laws to eliminate pill mills and turned down federal funds. And that's just the beginning. He is really picking on the state workers, including teachers!
It isn't enough for Florida's freshman Governor, Rick Scott that he just signed into law the "Student Success Act," which creates a merit pay plan tied to student test scores for Florida teachers while ending tenure for new hires. He wants more, first our money and then possibly our blood and/or urine!
Gov. Rick Scott is proposing to overhaul the state's pension system for tens of thousands of teachers, police officers and other state and county workers by requiring them to contribute to their retirement accounts and by not offering the pension plan to new workers. The initial budget allocations have been given and reality is going to hit hard.
The House intends to balance the budget on the backs of school employees by using “pension reform” requiring teachers and state workers to contribute 5% of their salary to their retirement. This is a 5% cut to their disposable income no matter how you slice it. The Senate would exempt those making less than $40,000 a year from a retirement contribution
But his newest scheme is to drug test state workers. You know, the ones who haven't had a raise in four years and who are about to have their unions shredded and their pensions hollowed out. In an executive order issued Tuesday, Scott directed the agencies under his control to implement the policy within 60 days. He said it should “provide for the potential for any employee … to be tested at least quarterly,” including senior management.
But the ACLU of Florida said Scott’s order “attempts to resurrect a policy previously found unconstitutional by a federal judge in a 2004
… Howard Simon, ACLU executive director, said in a statement Tuesday, “The state of Florida cannot force people to surrender their constitutional rights in order to work for the state. Absent any evidence of illegal drug use, or assigned a safety-sensitive job, people have a right to be left alone." the state would shoulder the cost of those tests. But there's a catch. The state already tests nearly every worker anyway.
Leaving aside the privacy arguments there's a cost factor. By some estimates, it could cost state taxpayers $3.5 million to pay for the $35 tests, though maybe the state could get a deal with a lab company
Florida's new governor, is also one of the founders of Solantic, the urgent care chain. One of the more popular services at Solantic, is drug testing, according to Solantic CEO Karen Bowling. Given Solantic's role in that marketplace, critics are again asking whether Scott's policy initiatives - this time, requiring drug testing of state employees and welfare recipients - are designed to benefit Scott's bottom line.
Florida's Freshman Governor Rick Scott has dishonored the office of Governor and continues to disregard voter mandates by overruling them. He has refused federal funds for a high speed rail that the voters wanted. He has thrown out the overwhelming victory at the polls from voters that want a law to eradicate gerrymandering. A proposal to drug test all welfare recipients and now state workers is very coincidental coming from a founder of Solantic, urgent care chain, whose most often requested service is a $35 drug screening. It is time to investigate and impeach this self-promoting man. Florida can do better!
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