TALLAHASSEE — Lawsuits over major legislation championed by Gov. Rick Scott more than a year ago are still working their way through the courts, and the legal bills for Florida's taxpayers continue to mount.
Challenges to laws sought by Scott to revamp the state's pension plans, require drug testing of welfare recipients and drastically alter the way teachers are paid were brought by the teachers' union, the American Civil Liberties Union or other opposing organizations in 2011. But because of the appeals process, none of the cases is resolved yet, and the legal meter for the state is still running.
Florida is also entangled in the long process of getting a change to the state's election rules through the federal courts — all alterations to election law in Florida must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court in Washington, D.C.
Under Scott, Florida also continued a lawsuit filed in 2010 over the Obama administration's health-care overhaul, which had resulted in a $69,827 price tag by the time the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law last month.
So far, the total legal tab on these cases combined is $888,317.51.
The Florida Attorney General's Office is able to handle much of the legal work as part of its normal operations. But in many cases, the state goes to big outside firms in Washington or Atlanta to help with complicated cases...
(click headline for extensive list of ongoing litigation over new Florida laws)