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economic development

Andrew Gillum talks policy, disses opponents during Tiger Bay appearance

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Andrew Gillum endorsed taxpayer funded economic development programs Wednesday to help the state compete for good-paying jobs — but said the state is falling short on training its residents to perform those jobs. “What I’m on board with is a diversified approach, including training incentive money for the training of workers. That piece is missing in today’s formula. It doesn’t exist under the current set-up of Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida,” the Tallahassee mayor said. “I would probably incentivize that…

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Proviso language on Tampa airport audit ‘bumped’ to budget chairs

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While Senate and House negotiators made progress on many tourism, transportations and economic development budgetary issues Saturday, a slew of line items will be “bumped” up to Appropriations Chairs Jack Latvala and Carlos Trujillo. Most notable was a bump of proviso language on an audit of Tampa International Airport’s master renovation plan. State Sen. Tom Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican, earlier this month had called for the audit, alleging “potential public corruption” over the facility’s billion-dollar-plus renovation. Another bump was whether to require the…

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Top line tourism, economic development money closed out, chair says

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Don’t expect any movement in the budgets for Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA at the conference committee level. “I’m authorized to negotiate quite a few things in this budget and there’s a few things I’m not, and those would be among the things I’m not,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, the St. Petersburg Republican chairing the Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations conference committee. The panel met again at 8 a.m. Saturday. Earlier this week, legislative leadership agreed on roughly $83 billion…

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Vote on stadium-subsidies bill delayed, but panel votes aid to rural counties

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A Senate committee approved legislation Monday earmarking 75 percent of Florida’s take from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster for the eight worst-affected counties, and ensuring that small counties will be represented on the oversight board. But the Commerce and Tourism Committee delayed a vote on another high-profile bill, SB 236, to dismantle tax subsidies for professional sports facilities, when sponsor Tom Lee, a Republican from Thonotasassa, failed to appear. “We’re facing a crisis in rural Florida — whether it’s education or health…

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House splitting legislation on incentives, tourism funding

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In a letter to fellow members, state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz says House leadership now is planning to bifurcate its legislation to eliminate Enterprise Florida and to overhaul VISIT FLORIDA. The Senate, however, so far still intends to keep Enterprise Florida as part of its economic development tool chest. On Monday, Diaz – the Miami-Dade Republican who chairs the House Commerce Committee – wrote an email titled “Accountability – Everyone is for it, Right? We’ll see…” about his chamber’s proposal (HB 7005). “We have heard from members and stakeholders…

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Bill to kill business incentives, Enterprise Florida cleared for House floor

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business incentives

A House bill that would abolish the Enterprise Florida economic development organization, eliminate a throng of business incentive programs, and strip the VISIT FLORIDA tourism marketing agency down to a barebones $25 million budget cleared its second and final panel Tuesday. That means the measure (HB 7005), OK’d by the House Appropriations Committee on an 18-12 vote, is ready to be considered by the full House when the 2017 Legislative Session begins March 7.  The vote was another hit to Gov. Rick Scott, an advocate…

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Rick Scott to host jobs summit in Orlando

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Gov. Rick Scott will focus on jobs during a summit in Orlando next month. Scott is scheduled to host a jobs summit on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, according to an online invitation. The event, which was first reported by POLITICO Florida, appears to be similar to an education summit the Naples Republican hosted in 2016. According to the invitation, the event will bring together “Florida’s top business leaders, economic developers, educators and community…

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