Miami Herald: Blind woman challenges Gov. Rick Scott’s new rules

Gov. Rick Scott’s rulemaking freeze has been challenged in court as unconstitutional.

March 29, 2011-
A blind woman from Miami seeking to reapply for food stamps has filed a petition in the Florida Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Rick Scott’s rule-making freeze.

The freeze was one of Scott’s first acts as governor, included in an executive order signed less than an hour after his Jan. 4 inauguration.

More than 900 rules on their way to approval were affected. Many have received an okay from the governor, but many more are still on hold.

Rosalie Whiley, plaintiff in the lawsuit, said one of the stalled rules will make it easier for her to apply for food stamps online. She wants the executive order revoked.

“Because of my visual handicap, I have to get someone to come in and put in information for me online. I feel like it’s important for me to do it by myself,” said Whiley, 54, who lost her vision due to glaucoma, which she has suffered with since age 16.

Whiley said she has to reapply for food stamps every six months.

“I’m really concerned,” she said of Gov. Scott. “He’s coming in and he’s disrupting a lot of things that are going to affect a lot of people. A lot of people.”

It’s the second lawsuit filed in the Florida Supreme Court this month charging that Scott has exceeded his power. The first came from state Sens. Sens. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, over Scott’s decision to reject federal money for high-speed rail. The court rejected that suit.

“I’m very comfortable that I have legal ground,” Scott said of the latest court challenge. “And we’ll continue down this path of reviewing existing regulations and doing whatever we can to amend regulations that are killing jobs.”

In addition to freezing all rules in the works, Scott’s order created the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform. No new rules can move forward without approval by the office.


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