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It’s official: Pete Antonacci hired as Enterprise Florida CEO

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Without surprise or intrigue, the full board of Enterprise Florida (EFI) on Monday hired lawyer and Gov. Rick Scott loyalist Pete Antonacci to be its next leader. The former lobbyist had been recommended as the new CEO by the jobs-recruiting agency’s executive committee during a conference call last week. Scott chairs the EFI board of directors as governor.

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Personnel note: Joe Negron appoints Ken Kahn to EFI board

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Ken Kahn was appointed to the Enterprise Florida (EFI) Board of Directors, Senate President Joe Negron announced Monday. The appointment begins immediately and expires July 5, 2021. “Ken understands firsthand the opportunities available to businesses seeking to locate or expand here in Florida,” Negron said. “He has a strong educational background and the diverse business and community service experiences needed to excel in this position. I am confident Ken will be a strong advocate for Florida businesses, and I am grateful…

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Personnel note: Chris Hart IV joins Florida TaxWatch

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Chris Hart IV, who stepped down after less than three months as CEO of Enterprise Florida (EFI), has taken a post as Executive Vice President of Florida TaxWatch, the organization announced Thursday. “We are thrilled to welcome Chris as part of the Florida TaxWatch family as a key part of our leadership team,” TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro said in a statement. “He will be at the center of efforts to ensure that the nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute builds upon its successes while…

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Rick Scott: No hard feelings between him and Richard Corcoran

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Chalk it up to “passion.” Or politics. Gov. Rick Scott, speaking to reporters after a Wednesday bill signing, explained away the open tension between him and House Speaker Richard Corcoran after the House this year tried to gut VISIT FLORIDA and do away with economic development organization Enterprise Florida, his two favored state agencies. By the end of the recent Special Session, however, lawmakers agreed to the creation of an $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to be controlled by Scott,…

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The economic incentives bill clears the House by a lopsided vote

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The House passed the economic incentives package Friday over complaints it would hand Gov. Rick Scott a “slush fund” and make a mockery of the leadership’s professed opposition to picking winners and losers in the economy. The vote was 111-4. The “no” votes were John Cortes, Evan Jenne, McGhee, and Emily Slosberg — all Democrats. The bill represents “a fundamental change in direction” for the state’s economic development programs — away from subsidizing individual companies, said Paul Renner, carrying the measure.…

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Jose Javier Rodriguez: We’re being called back to bless backroom deal

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Democrats staked out their contempt for the stated purpose of the Legislature’s Special Session today with state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriquez saying lawmakers are being called in to bless a backroom deal to give the governor a slush fund. Rodriguez, of Miami, and state Rep. Shevrin Jones of West Park decried what they described as a cynical process for Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislative leaders to get what they want in exchange for $2015 million in education funding that…

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Florida taxpayers, entrepreneurs winners in new budget deal, says Americans for Prosperity

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Florida taxpayers will be the true winners next week as lawmakers return to Tallahassee for a special session on economic incentives and education funding in the state’s budget, says Americans for Prosperity-Florida. The conservative government watchdog group is applauding Friday’s announcement by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, Senate President Joe Negron, and Gov. Rick Scott that they will be meeting for a Special Session to reconcile the state’s nearly $84 billion budget. As reported by FloridaPolitics.com, Scott called on the Legislature…

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