This week's New Times cover story, "Enemy of the State," details the dozen worst accomplishments from Gov. Rick Scott's first six months in office. Unsurprisingly, there were plenty of dirty deeds that didn't make the list. Here are a few of the highlights:
1. Following a property-tax-cutting proposal from Scott, the state Legislature sliced the budget of the South Florida Water Management District by 30 percent, or $128 million. Immediately, the agency charged with restoring the Everglades and coping with the region's terrible drought had to eliminate hundreds of jobs.
In June, 123 employees accepted buyouts, and at least 100 more are expected to be laid
off next month. Scott, ever the sensitive politician, traveled to the West Palm Beach headquarters of the management district to sign and celebrate the budget-cutting bill. Imagine the joy on the employees' faces as they welcomed the man who took away their jobs.
2. Signed the NRA-backed bill that prohibits doctors from asking patients if they own guns. The citizens of Florida can now rest easy knowing that depressed people can play with their firearms without prying inquiries from medical professionals.
Sure, there is an exception to this rule, if doctors can prove their gun questions are related to the patient's medical care or safety. But that's a huge burden of proof to put on doctors. Some physicians have asked a U.S. District Court judge in Miami to block enforcement of the law. Their attorneys say the rule has already prompted some doctors to stop asking routine questions about gun ownership.
3. Approved a bill -- which former Gov. Charlie Crist had vetoed -- that requires women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion. Aside from being medically unnecessary for a first-trimester abortion, ultrasounds are not cheap. On the bright side, the rule will rake in money for the medical testing industry.
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