UPDATE: Can guv kill drug database donation?by Dara Kam | March 11th, 2011
UPDATE: Gov. Scott’s spokesman Brian Hughes said his boss never tried to return the $1 million donation to the private, non-profit Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Foundation.
“If the senator wanted an answer to his question, he should have called us,” Hughes said.
Scott “never communicated any opinion” about the grant to Purdue or the foundation, Hughes said.
“The decision is up to the foundation,” he said.
Does Gov. Rick Scott have the authority to reject a $1 million donation to a private foundation created by lawmakers to create the prescription drug database the governor opposes?
That’s what Sen. Mike Fasano, an ardent supporter of the yet-to-be-implemented Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, publicly asked Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander at a budget committee meeting this afternoon.
Fasano said he’s had no direct contact with Scott – “that’s no surprise,” he said -but had seen news reports that Scott was not interested in the $1 million Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the highly addictive pain pills Oxycontin, offered to give to the foundation created to pay for the drug database.
“Does the governor have the right to reject that money?” Fasano asked.
Alexander diplomatically dealt with Fasano’s inquiry.
“I’m not sure,” the Lake Wales Republican, who’s had his own differences with Scott about his sale of the state’s planes, replied. “I share your concern. I certainly voted for and supported the effort to rein in the prescription drug mills.”
A House committee, with House Speaker Dean Cannon’s blessing, approved a measure yesterday repealing the drug database law enforcement officials believe is crucial in cracking down on prescription drug abuse.
Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, piled on.
She asked the committee to find out how much the state is paying to prosecute and lock up drug dealers associated with pill mills.