Editorial: Gov. DeSantis chose well on Office of Drug Control and chief science officer.

The decisions set him apart from his predecessor in the Governor’s Mansion.
Gov. Ron DeSantis revived the Office of Drug Control and selected a chief science officer this week. Times (2019)
Gov. Ron DeSantis revived the Office of Drug Control and selected a chief science officer this week. Times (2019)
Published April 5

Gov. Ron DeSantis reminded us again this week that he’s no Rick Scott. Bully for that, at least when it comes to two recent moves.

DeSantis reestablished the Office of Drug Control, which was created by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 1999. Scott eliminated it soon after he took office in 2011. At the time, pill mills were nearly as common as sunshine and opioids were taking a lethal hold, but Scott said the $500,000 in annual savings would help balance the state budget. Just as the state needed leadership and expertise on handling a drug crisis, an office dedicated to just that was gone. DeSantis is smart to bring it back.

In another forward-thinking move, the governor appointed Thomas Frazer to the newly created job of chief science officer. Frazer is the director of the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and is on the faculty advisory committee of the school’s Climate Institute.

“Sound science and cutting-edge research leads our efforts to protect the environment,” DeSantis said after the announcement.

How refreshing after eight years of Gov. Rick “I’m not a scientist” Scott, so feckless on climate change that he rarely uttered the words.

Week by week, DeSantis continues to distance himself from his predecessor and responsibly restructure state government in tone and substance.

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