On Sunday, The New York Times editorial board slammed Rick Scott's decision to kill Florida's federally funded high-speed rail system and suggested he was caught up in some high-speed race to out-pander to Tea Partiers faster than other Republican governors. Though, there's one governor Scott apparently doesn't want to match up against in right-wing controversy and that's Wisconsin's Scott Walker.
Walker has championed a plan to strip labor unions of their right to collective bargaining, a move that has left his state's capitol in political upheaval while Democratic lawmakers hide out in Illinois to delay passage of the bill.
While Scott hasn't presented himself as a union member's best friend, he told a Tallahassee radio station today that he wouldn't put together a bill like Walker's and believes in the right of collective bargaining.
"My belief is as long as people know what they're doing, collective bargaining is fine," Scott said on WFLA Radio in Tallahassee.
"Scott said what he means is that as long as the discussion is honest about what benefits employees are getting, he has no objection to public employees being members of unions," reports Saint Petersblog.
Florida is a right-to-work state, and the collective bargaining rights of unions in Florida are considerably weaker than they are in Wisconsin.
Scott's political to-do list does, however, include a few anti-union check marks. Most notably, Scott and other Republicans are supportive of a plan that some say would financially starve unions by eliminating their right to deduct dues directly from paychecks. The bill would also ban the unions from spending money collected from dues politically unless member's gave their permission to do so.
Other controversial plans include a resurrected version of last year's education bill SB6 and a plan to make public employees pay into their pensions.
Some Florida teachers already seem inspired by recent events in Wisconsin.
"Do I believe public employees will descend on Tallahassee? Yes," Kim Black, president of the Pinellas teachers union, told The St. Pete Times. "People are organizing."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.