The Washington Times - February 22, 2011, 06:01PM

Florida Gov. Rick Scott doesn’t foresee a battle in his state similar to the one raging in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed legislation to curtail collective bargaining rights for most state employees.

In fact, Mr. Scott — a conservative Republican and tea party favorite – says he doesn’t have a problem with collective bargaining, at least not in principle.

“My believe is, as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine,” Mr. Scott said Tuesday during an interview with Tallahassee radio station WFLA-FM.

But Mr. Scott defended Mr. Walker, another first-year Republican governor, for his decision to dig-in his heels and fight the unions and state employees over the collective bargaining issue. Mr. Walker says eliminating collective bargaining rights will save money by, among other things, sparing the state protracted employee contract disputes down the road and requiring state employees to pay more for their health insurance.

Mr. Walker’s “got a 3.6 billion budget deficit — he doesn’t have a choice. He’s got to figure out how to do more with less,” Mr. Scott said. “Everybody believes that state governments spend too much money, and they don’t spend it well. So he’s doing exactly what we’re doing; how can we reduce the cost of government?”