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

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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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Joe Henderson: What damage could follow as Frank Artiles’ rant reverberates around the globe?

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The damage wrought by state Sen. Frank Artiles’ racist rant has ripples that extend far beyond the seats of power in Tallahassee. All it took to confirm that was to type his “Senator Frank Artiles” into Google. Within seconds, a collection of stories popped up that confirms how much impact the bile from his bigoted psyche had when he called African-American colleagues … aw, you know what he said by now. You know what else though? Readers who follow the…

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Tourism trends on tap at Tampa Downtown Partnership event May 2

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As Florida’s largest industry, tourism is a major economic driver in both downtown Tampa and the entire region. Official estimates put the number of visitors to Hillsborough County at nearly 22-million annually, with $3.6 billion in spending and supporting more than 48,000 hospitality-related jobs, making it a significant sector of Tampa Bay’s economy. The Tampa Downtown Partnership will examine the latest trends in tourism and future growth in “Downtown Debriefing Series: Trends in Tourism,” scheduled Tuesday, May 2, at the…

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Florence Snyder: VISIT clueless tourism officials in Brevard County

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If there’s one thing a $113,000 a year Florida tourism executive urgently needs, it’s a $26,000 raise. Otherwise, says the Brevard County Director Compensation and Job Performance Committee, its Office of Tourism Executive Director Eric Garvey might leave the Space Coast — where the median household income is $48,483 — for greener Florida tourism pastures, where “the average salary for his counterparts” is $154,792. Last week, the Brevard Tourist Development Council endorsed the committee’s recommendations, which include an added $90,000…

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Pat Neal: Prosperity for our families and future

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Thanks to the efforts of Governor Rick Scott and the state’s committed business leaders, Florida has one of the strongest economies in the country. With our unemployment rate under 5 percent, Florida continues to exceed the nation’s annual job growth rate and tourism, one of the state’s economic drivers remains strong, with just under 113 million visitors in 2016, an increase from just 86 million visitors just three years ago. Much of this success has been a result of Enterprise…

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Florida doesn’t need an elected Secretary of State, or Agriculture Commissioner

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It would tax the imagination to come up with anything that Florida needs less than to elect a secretary of state once again. Why would the Legislature even consider that? Sen. Aaron Bean, the sponsor, explained it the other day. As reported by FloridaPolitics.com, the Fernandina Beach Republican told the Senate ethics committee that in the main he wants a fifth position on the Cabinet to avoid tie votes that require the governor to be on the prevailing side or…

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