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Will Seccombe

Janet Cruz is ready to lead her caucus during what’s expected to be a raucous Session

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Speaking to an audience in her home district of Tampa last month, House Minority Leader Janet Cruz feels Florida doesn’t have a spending or revenue problem. Tallahassee has a “priority problem,” the House District 62 representative said. She maintains that attitude going into the 2017 regular Legislative Session, which kicks off officially Tuesday. “The Republicans have continued to focus on massive handouts for the ultrawealthy and the large corporations at the expense of our public education, at the expense of our hospitals,…

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House splitting legislation on incentives, tourism funding

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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

in Statewide/Top Headlines by
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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David Wilkins consulting at struggling VISIT FLORIDA

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

David Wilkins, who led the state’s perennially troubled child welfare agency, is now helping new CEO Ken Lawson right the ship at VISIT FLORIDA. An internal email sent Wednesday and shared with FloridaPolitics.com says Wilkins, secretary of the Department of Children and Families under Gov. Rick Scott in 2011-13, is “assisting VISIT FLORIDA in the review of some of our contracts, processes and procedures.” The email was sent to staff by Meredith DaSilva, the state tourism agency’s director of executive operations.…

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Rick Scott selects Matilde Miller to serve as interim DBPR secretary

in Statewide by

Matilde Miller will take the helm of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation — at least temporarily. Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday Miller was named the interim secretary of DBPR, replacing former Secretary Ken Lawson. “Matilde has spent many years at DBPR serving in numerous leadership positions and understands how important it is to help businesses open and create jobs in our state,” said Scott in a statement. “Like Secretary Lawson, she will focus on reducing burdensome regulations and fees…

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Could Ken Lawson next be tapped to head VISIT FLORIDA?

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Is Ken Lawson the right man to right the state’s beleaguered tourism agency? The smart money in Tallahassee now is betting on Gov. Rick Scott to move Lawson, his secretary of Business and Professional Regulation, to head VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s “official tourism marketing corporation.” As you’ll recall, Scott called on former CEO Will Seccombe to quit, continuing a bloodbath at the organization that saw two other top executives fired. That was from the fallout over how it handled a…

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Report: Will Seccombe could receive more than $300K as part of severance package

in Statewide by

VISIT FLORIDA‘s CEO could receive more than $300,000 in salary and performance pay as part of his severance package. The Naples Daily News reported Wednesday that Will Seccombe, the outgoing head of the state’s tourism agency, could receive over $326,000 in salary and performance pay if that deal is approved. Later Wednesday, the agency’s executive committee authorized board chair William Talbert to negotiate a “transition plan” with Seccombe. He’ll report back to the full board at its Jan. 10 meeting. Talbert told committee members…

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