Seems that the Florida GOP legislators are going to go a different route....the proverbial "death by a thousand cuts" when it comes to taking down the unions. While reading my local paper here in Jacksonville, The Florida Times Union, I ran across a letter to the editor from a local union member railing against a recent bill filed in the Florida legislature.....more below the fold.
Republican State Senator John Thrasher, who by the way has been around in state politics for decades, was a House member, was term limited, became a lobbyist, and then got himself elected to the Florida Senate, has introduced a nifty little bill to strip unions of some of their political strength. See, what he's proposing, under the guise of "a freedom issue for people who are now conscripted to having their money taken out of their paychecks," is that union dues be barred from being a payroll deduction. Even if that's what the employee wants. It would make it illegal, and there would have to be written consent by the union member for any union money to be used for political purposes.
Opponents see this as payback for the teacher's push back to Thrasher's ill conceived bill that he tried to push through last year basing teacher salary increases on student test data. Thrasher is part of former Jeb Bush's inner circle. Jeb Bush's education "reforms" pushed school vouchers, high stakes testing, charter schools....he was beaten back by the State Supreme Court that ruled his voucher scheme unconstitutional.
It's obvious that here in Florida, the Republicans want to privatize, as much as possible, the education of Florida's kids. They want to transfer tax money to private enterprises. They don't even try to hide that fact. And when questioned about why charter schools and private schools do not have to pass the state mandated FCAT standardized tests and are not evaluated for student outcomes, they don't even try to answer. That's how arrogant they are.
So, here in Florida we have the same crowd that WI is now getting a taste of. We have documented fraudster Rick Scott, Tea Party favorite, as the new Governor, who is acting like he's the king, making unilateral decisions, like rejecting high speed rail funds from the feds that were already voted on in the last legislature. Poof. He thinks he can veto legislation from a previous legislature! And GOP shills like Thrasher trying to make it so difficult for unions to function that they eventually are crippled and impotent.
So, I predict that soon, if they all wake up, Floridians will have had enough and take to the streets. Let's hope so anyway.