House holding firm against spending money on new Enterprise Florida business “tie”

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The Florida House is holding firm against spending money on the new Enterprise Florida business “tie.”

House and Senate negotiators on state economic projects and infrastructure needs moved closer Sunday to bringing the operating budgets for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida to the current year’s levels, reports Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida.

But the House has yet to budge on its refusal to put any money toward the new branding logo from the state’s public-private economic development agency, which shows an orange men’s necktie as the “i” in “Florida.”

“Somebody above my level needs to fix that,” said Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, who heads the House efforts in the negotiations regarding transportation, tourism and economic development projects.

The Senate, during the talks, has maintained a budget line of $1.5 million for the brand that was intended to reflect the state’s business foundation. The brand has drawn some heat for neglecting women by featuring a symbol of male business attire. 

Enterprise Florida has proposed a $4.5 million campaign to attract news businesses to the state that features the “tie” and slogan “Florida is the perfect climate for business.” When the new brand was introduced in January, the proposal was to use $3 million in state dollars, with $1.5 million from private contributions.

Talks will continue into Monday into the combined budgets, estimated just under $11.4 billion, for the Division of Emergency Management, Department of Economic Opportunity, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of Military Affairs, and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. 

The conference committees have until Tuesday afternoon to compete negotiations before legislative leaders would handle unresolved issues.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.