Differences were hashed out in phone calls between one or two key lawmakers and Scott chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth, who has had extensive dealings with lawmakers as a former business executive.
As Senate Rules Committee Chairman John Thrasher spoke to a reporter Thursday, his BlackBerry lit up and Hollingsworth’s name flashed on the screen.
“Excuse me,” Thrasher said, heading toward a quiet corridor. “I’ve got to take this.”
Democrats complain that Scott squandered a chance to take the lead to expand Medicaid after he endorsed the idea in February.
“Rick Scott has shown his inability to lead and unwillingness to stand for his legislative priorities,” Democratic Party chairwoman Allison Tant wrote in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Democrats said it seemed as if Republican lawmakers didn’t take Scott seriously.
“They treated him like the red-headed stepchild,” said Rep. Perry Thurston, the House Democratic leader. “They were playing coy with him. They’re holding onto all of his stuff to see if he gives him their stuff.”
Sure enough, a day after Scott lashed out at lawmakers, the logjam broke.
On Wednesday night, Scott signed into law two of their priorities, dealing with ethics and campaign fundraising, including higher limits on contributions that lawmakers wanted and that he repeatedly criticized. He has not explained the inconsistency.
The tax break for manufacturers sprang to life in the House that night as the fate of those two key bills rested in Scott’s hands.
“I’ve learned one thing,” Scott said of the Legislature. “A lot happens in the last week of the session.”