Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) hears the footfall of doom as he draws ever closer to his bid for re-election next year. Polls are showing that he’d lose to freshly-minted Democrat Charlie Crist, and now he’s pandering to voters whom he offended deeply by signing a restrictive early-voting law in 2011 and then running away from it like his, um, hair was on fire. Now he says he’s all in favor of expanding early voting… back to where it was.
His latest attempt to suck up to a major constituency is his proposal to give Florida teachers a raise. This comes a year after he stuck public employees with a law that forces them to make a 3 percent contribution to a pension plan that is already solvent.
Scott planned to announce his proposal Wednesday in Ocoee. No details were immediately available.
The Florida Supreme Court last week upheld a Scott-proposed law requiring the pension contribution from teachers, state and county employees and some municipal workers.
The Legislature last year approved Scott’s request to increase public school funding by $1 billion but left it to local school boards to determine how much, if any, would go to pay raises.
That was a turn-around for the Republican governor, who in the previous year persuaded lawmakers to cut school spending.
Nice try, Governor. And while no one would begrudge giving a pay raise to teachers (full disclosure: when teachers get raises, so do some administrators), is there a way you could do it without being so shamelessly ham-handed about it? It makes us feel so used.