Nickens: Scott will learn government is not a business
St Pete Times Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens:Barely a month has passed since Gov. Rick Scott took office, and it is clear he views his new job as Florida's chief executive no differently than his old job as chief executive assembling the nation's largest hospital chain.
It's just another hostile takeover.
Scott has acknowledged as much himself. He explained to a gathering of editors and reporters last month why he issued an executive order on his first day on the job that requires any expenditure of more than $1 million by state agencies he oversees to be approved by his office.
"It is no different than when I took over companies," he said. "One of the first things you have to do is get control of the checkbook."
The second thing you apparently have to do is reduce the number of employees; Scott promises to cut the state work force by 5 percent. The third thing is to cut the benefits of the remaining workers. The governor announced last week he wants to require workers who have not had a general pay raise in five years to contribute 5 percent of their salaries to their retirement.
Then expect Scott to merge a few state agencies, unload an expensive Medicaid system onto managed care companies and slash prison costs. By summer he should have a meaner, leaner Florida producing positive cash flow and ready to merge with Georgia — or to be sold to the Vegas casinos for a profit.
Full column here