by Mitch Perry
Rick Scott's schedule has him in Miami today, the end of an extremely interesting week for our governor.
Yesterday he celebrated the Florida Supreme Court's 4-3 ruling on the 2011 decision by him and the Legislature to begin having state employees begin contributing three percent to their pension plan. The proposal was challenged in court by the Florida Education Association, as they and other state workers contended that such a move amounted to a pay cut considering it's been six years since they have received a raise.
But public opinion was with the governor the Republicans in Tallahassee on this one, as Florida state workers were unique in not paying anything into their pension, an issue that has acquired greater resonance in recent years with such pension payouts hurting the budgets of many U.S. cities.
The Governor also tried to play a little jujitsu yesterday, coming out in favor of electoral reform, reforming the bill that he and the GOP-led Legislature enthusiastically passed just two years ago, though there never appeared to be any coherent reason for reducing the amount of early days - none publicly stated, at least.
You don't need a degree in political science to see that the governor is trying to pivot on an issue that has cost Republicans dearly, especially in the wake of a disastrous state poll released earlier this week that showed that 40 percent of Republicans aren't satisfied with his performance, and showed him losing to Charlie Crist by some 14 points if his re-election were this month, and not in almost two years from now.
Meanwhile, on a bipartisan telephone call regarding how to get a hold of the federal debt, University of Miami President Donna Shalala said she thinks tort reform at the state level is needed to try to reduce health care costs.
And there's just a week to go in the very intense battle for the Florida Democratic Party chair race. If you haven't seen it yet, please check out our feature in this week's CL on the contest between Tampa's Alan Clendenin and Tallahassee insider Allison Tant.