Scott signs bill clarifying his ability to exercise control over agencies

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Responding to a Florida Supreme Court ruling (Whiley v. Scott) that scuttled one of his earliest acts, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a measure clarifying his ability to exercise control over the agencies that fall under his purview. In a letter accompanying the measure (HB 7055), Scott said lawmakers made it clear that he has the ability and the authority to determine how agencies will carry out rulemaking unless the Legislature clearly says otherwise. “With the passage of HB 7055, the Florida Legislature has now indicated that it concurs with the traditional view of executive power,” Scott wrote. “In the bill’s findings, the Legislature has stated in no uncertain terms that Whiley was wrongly decided.” A key senate backer agreed with Scott’s assertion. “It is my view that those individuals appointed by the Governor to head a state agency should be supervised by those who are elected to serve the public,” said Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville and sponsor of the Senate version. “This bill ensures that the laws created by the Legislature are implemented as intended without misinterpretation by state employees who weren’t elected.” The bill passed both chambers largely along party lines.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.