Scott's freshman follies

A litany of controversies from the governor's first year in office.

Gov. Rick Scott pursued several controversial policies during his first term in office. Among them:

• Required that welfare recipients pass a drug test to qualify for state benefits. A judge has issued an injunction preventing the governor's policy from going into effect until a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union is heard.

• Signed an order in March 2011 requiring that all state employees take drug tests every three months. He suspended the order in June for most state employees after the ACLU filed a lawsuit claiming the order violated Constitutional rights barring illegal search and seizure and guaranteeing due process.

• Cut 3 percent from all state employees’ pay and shifted the money to the state pension system. Several employee unions sued, saying the move is an unlawful change to their employment contracts.

• Identified more than 1,000 rules governing commerce in Florida that he would like to repeal or modify.

• Created the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which consolidated agencies in an effort to streamline business development.

• Repealed the state's growth management law after it was passed in the legislature, giving municipalities greater freedom to amend their comprehensive management plans, meant to contain urban sprawl.

• Rejected tens of millions of dollars in federal aid to implement the federal Affordable Care Act. Gov. Scott is a longtime opponent of President Obama's healthcare reform plan, passed by Congress in 2010. Florida is among several states suing to vacate the law.

• Rejected $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a high-speed rail line from Tampa to Orlando, even though private companies bidding on the project indicated they would cover any costs to the state. Scott said he predicted cost overruns would leave the state paying $3 billion, and that if the rail had low ridership, it could require state subsidies to keep it running. If it had to be closed down, he said, the state would have to pay back the money.

• Proposed cutting 10 percent from the state's education budget. The legislature ended up passing 8 percent in cuts, affecting thousands of teacher positions statewide.

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