Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee bureau chief Steve Bousquet has a must-read column in the final week of the 2013 session. An excerpt:
The time has arrived for Scott to take a bold step — the boldest since he decided to run for governor three years ago.
What he should do is congratulate his fellow Republicans who wrote the budget on a good first try, then veto the entire education budget and tell lawmakers that he's dead serious about an across-the-board raise for teachers.
var doubleClickAd_1348699802594 = ''; document.write(doubleClickAd_1348699802594);
But Scott has shown no sign of taking such decisive action. In fact, he released a statement Sunday night congratulating the Legislature for budgeting a teacher pay hike, and even added laudable rhetoric from Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association, a teacher union.
A few hours later, FEA put out a new statement emphasizing its "disappointment" with the delayed implementation. "House and Senate leadership have thwarted those efforts by delaying any salary increases," the union said.
Referring to the governor's initial statement quoting the union, Ford said Monday: "He put out part of it."
Republican lawmakers would be appalled by a Scott veto of the education budget, which is all the more reason why Scott should do it — and then invite hundreds of teachers to a rally on the steps of the Capitol.