Florida Disapproval of Scott Rises After Budget Cuts, Poll Says
Florida voters’ disapproval of Governor Rick Scott, a Republican elected on promises to cut spending and taxes, has doubled since he proposed a budget that reduces outlays by $4.6 billion and eliminates 8,600 jobs.
Forty-eight percent of voters are displeased with the governor’s performance, according to a Quinnipiac University poll taken March 29 to April 4. That compares with 22 percent who disapproved in a poll released Feb. 2, Quinnipiac said. Scott’s approval rating remained unchanged at 35 percent.
The rising dissent is “not surprising given the magnitude of the changes he is proposing,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut, said in a statement today. “Scott is a four-letter word to many Florida voters.”
The millionaire former health-care executive was elected in November with less than half the votes cast as Republicans took most U.S. statehouses pledging to shrink government in part by curbing employee benefits. The effort is meeting resistance: Americans reject limiting union bargaining rights and don’t think states should break promises to retirees, a Bloomberg National Poll last month found.
Since taking office in January, Scott’s proposals to require state employees to contribute to their pensions and to curb the ability of unions to collect dues from public employees have advanced in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Scott already signed a law that ties teacher pay to student performance.
No Tax Increase
Fifty-three percent of respondents in the Quinnipiac poll said Scott’s budget, in which he proposed the pension contribution, is unfair to them. Fifty-two percent said Scott shouldn’t have pledged to balance the budget without raising taxes. Sixty-four percent said he won’t be able to keep that promise.
The proposed rule for union dues is a bad idea, voters said by 47 percent to 43 percent. They disapprove, by 57 percent to 39 percent, of the law that links teacher pay to student performance. Seventy-eight percent approved of Scott’s order that newly hired state workers undergo drug testing and that those already on the job be spot-checked.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,499 registered voters in its poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
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