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Florida governor Rick Scott quietly put his plans to drug test all state workers on hold. He sent a memo to agency heads on June 10 announcing the decision; however it was not made public. Last week, the ACLU of Florida posted the memo on its website.
Scott issued the executive order March 22, ordering that all state employees be drug tested at their expense. The ACLU of Florida responded immediately by filing a lawsuit alleging the order violated the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure provisions. The ACLU acted on behalf of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents some 50,000 state workers and 200,000 city and county workers in the Sunshine State.
Scott’s memo states that he is “confident that the drug testing called for in the order is consistent with the Constitution,” but acknowledges that “while the case is pending, it not does not make sense to move forward with the logistical issues involved in instituting the new policy.”
ACLU was pleased with the news. “This is nothing less than a massive and embarrassing retreat on the part of Governor Scott,” said Florida ACLU director Howard Simon. “Despite his continuing rhetoric, he must now realize that Floridians won’t simply roll over but will stand up and defend our constitutional rights.”
Governor Scott now enjoys the title of being the most unpopular governor in the entire country with an approval rating at a staggering 29 percent. Only six months after he took the office of Governor in Florida, Rick Scott has fewer fans in the state than attend a Tampa Bay Rays game. The Quinnipiac University poll found that 54 percent of voters say the budget is “unfair” to someone like them, while 29 percent favor it.”The data on the perceived fairness of the governor’s budget is crucial. When voters by almost 2-1 say his approach is unfair to them, that’s a giant flashing political warning sign for Scott,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “When voters don’t think they are being treated fairly, they tend to react negatively.”
Voters are even more fed up with the economy, perhaps the biggest drag on Scott or any other political leader in the nation. In Florida, 61 percent say they’re dissatisfied in general.
When asked about his low poll numbers, Scott seemed unconcerned. ”My job is to get our state back to work. My job is to make sure this is the state that’s most likely to succeed,” he said on the Sid Rosenberg Show on WQAM radio in South Florida.
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