TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Rick Scott was unfazed Tuesday by the criticism he's getting from out-of-state politicians over his proposal to kill a proposed prescription tracking system designed to crack down on "pill mills" that supply painkillers and other illicit medications to drug dealers and addicts.
Scott said he won't withdraw his budget recommendation to repeal the state's new prescription monitoring law and added a new element to his opposition.
He accused the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Foundation of wasting private money that it has raised to pay for the system.
"I don't support the database," Scott said at a news conference. "I believe it's an invasion of privacy."
Scott also said, "It has come to my attention that thousands of dollars have been spent on lawyers, travel, meals for board members."
The cash-strapped Legislature failed to appropriate money for the monitoring system, which is on hold because of contract challenges. Instead, lawmakers created the foundation to seek donations.
Attorney General Pam Bondi said it's her understanding that enough money has been raised to pay for the first year of operation.
Over the weekend, U.S. senators from New York, Rhode Island and West Virginia, as well as Florida's Bill Nelson, called on Scott, a Republican health care executive who was elected last year, to let the program begin.