Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When the CEO Comes to Your Office

Florida Governor Rick Scott did an agency visit today and the entire headquarters was invited for a "Meet and Greet" (that is what they called it). I will say that he really does come across as a normal guy. He wore a black suit, a blue and red striped tie, and a pair of black cowboy boots tucked under his pants leg. State of Florida pin on his lapel. Political signaling, textbook, chapter 1, 6th or 7th page. As the former private sector CEO that vowed to run the State of Florida as a business, I am glad he is reading the book. He really started off clueless about government and politics, like governors unlike CEOs share power with the legislature. And no, the legislature is not like the board of directors.

His speech was unpolished, which I appreciated. He was like someone I would have a  long talk with on a plane. Very relatable until he referred to the health care reform law as Obamacare...again. There are so many interesting initiatives from the governor's office: mandatory drug testing at random for all government workers, 5% percent salary contributions to state works pensions. I am unsure exactly why he is so invested in the Panama Canal expansion and how that effects Florida's export/import directly. He only briefly mentioned the return of millions of federal dollars for the high-speed rail the state worked tirelessly for years to approve. Importantly, he gave us a pep talk, having to do more with less---he wanted us to be encouraged.

So if your CEO opened the floor for questions, what would you ask? A fellow employee, unafaid of job security asked the governor why he refers to "a federal law as Obamacare", that it comes of as "prejudiced."

Bold, ballsy. The conference room exploded with applause in support. He explained that the public didn't support it and that the lawmakers that voted for it didn't read it. Interesting... It felt more like a townhall meeting as many took some took the role of citizen first, not employee. He did answer, one question "Where do you see Medicaid going?" with an answer that made my ears perk up. He'd prefer block grants so that the state could run Medicaid they way that best suits Floridians. He would like aid to be based on income and would like to see insurance subsidies. He gave the brief example of a married pregnant woman who made just above the income limit for Medicaid, so she quit her job. That is certainly less than ideal. So he would like to help where people need help.

I like it. I'm waiting for the catch. I'm sure it's a big fat one too.
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