Despite the polls showing upwards of 80% support for paid sick days in the state of Florida, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill yesterday that blocks all local governments in the state from enacting any ordinances which would make them mandatory. Instead of taking into account the overwhelming support from residents in the state, Scott caved to pressures from ALEC (which orchestrated the effort) and companies like Walt Disney and Darden Restaurants. In a statement on the signing of the bill, Scott said, “This bill fosters statewide uniformity, consistency and predictability in Florida’s employer-employee relationships.”
No it doesn’t, Rick. It fosters even more massive profits for special interests and companies which have already been accumulating incredible profit off the backs of struggling workers. Just take a look at Walt Disney, one of the biggest opponents of mandatory paid sick days. Walt Disney Co. ended fiscal year 2012 with record revenue and profits, bringing in almost $5.7 billion in profit for the year. But we’re supposed to believe giving their employees the opportunity to accrue paid sick leave would devastate their bottom line? Give me a break.
Then we have Darden Restaurants, who paid the price for “experimenting” with screwing their employees out of health insurance last year. Now they want to pay the price again for forcing their cooks and servers to work sick just to try to get by? Have fun visiting a Red Lobster or Olive Garden knowing that there’s a chance your server might be working with an illness just so they can pay their rent and keep food on their table.
But should we really expect anything better from Rick Scott? This is the same man who blatantly lied about his business experience at Columbia/HCA, saying he “drove down national health care inflation from 18% to 8% in seven years.” PolitiFact rated this ridiculous claim “pants on fire.” Which, if you’re familiar at all with Governor Scott’s career in business and politics, you know he’s metaphorically burned through several pairs of pants with his outlandish lies.
Last year, Scott brought his lie factory to the friendly airwaves of Fox News, claiming that a company with 20 employees could be forced to shut down because they couldn’t afford the Obamacare health insurance requirement. Apparently, this was a fear tactic Scott used several times when urging small business owners to vote for Mitt Romney. And of course, it was a bold-faced lie.
Earlier this year, Scott perpetuated even more lies about Obamacare, flatly rejecting reality while claiming that the Medicaid expansion would cost the state $26 billion over 10 years. Despite the state legislature’s top economist and budget analyst and almost every nonpartisan analysis telling him he was wrong, Governor Scott brazenly decided to stick with his made up figure to justify rejecting the expansion.
A real “man of the people.”
Even though the vast majority of Florida residents — and most of Florida’s major newspapers — agreed that this bill shouldn’t have been passed, Scott felt compelled to please his corporate overlords while screwing over millions of people in the process. Working parents struggling to get by be damned, Rick Scott couldn’t care less about your plight.
Be sure to check out his archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.