Cuts for Education, but a New Agency for Business Interests and a Cozy Little Slush Find for the Gov

With news of school budget cuts in the news, Governor Rick Scott created a new state agency to promote business interests:

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Tuesday creating a new state agency. SB 2156 was a priority of Scott’s and creates the Department of Economic Opportunity. The new agency, which is not quite as big as Scott was hoping, will house the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade & Economic Development and parts of the Department of Community Affairs. It will be run by Gray Swoope, the head of Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership that contracts with Visit Florida. Scott signed the bill in Orlando, where he attended Enterprise Florida meetings.

Michael Bender didn’t mention that Scott will have his own little slush fund at his disposal to attract, um, business interest. From the Governor’s own press release:

The bill enhances the state’s ability to quickly react to business development opportunities in two ways.  It cuts to 10 days the required time to approve or deny requests for state incentive funds; currently, this process can take up to 42 days.  In addition, the Governor is authorized to approve incentive awards under $2 million without legislative approval or consultation, and for awards from $2 million to $5 million, the Governor must simply notify the chairs and vice chairs of the Legislative Budget Commission (LBC). Awards that exceed $5 million require LBC approval.

Emphasis mine.  No word on just how much Scott has available. Wonder how many checks he will be cutting for $1,999,999.99.

Just how politically tone deaf are Scott and the RPOF right now? This morning’s RPOF FB posting indicated that Scott’s policies promoted less government waste.  Is there a term that combines chutzpah and cluelessness?


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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