Florida Legislature Pre-Session Report on Economic Development, Insurance, and Energy

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Starting with the most recent 2011 Legislative Session in which entire sections of Florida’s Growth Management Laws were repealed, there will continue during the 2012 Session a deliberative effort to turn upside down everything from tax incentives and job growth policy, to insurance costs and environmental impacts.

Economic Development

Following up on initiatives created during the 2011 Session, Legislators will be focused upon the newly created Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) which now combines oversight of Housing; Tourism; Growth Management; Workforce; Environmental and Economic Development regulation. The Agency, which is a consolidation of three former state agencies and functions previously assigned to the Governor’s office, officially began its new role October 1, 2011. Director Doug Darling has pledged to approach the agency’s tactics from a military perspective relying upon his own experience, attacking the economy and unemployment “with every weapon available.”

In addition to “leading the charge” to further remove regulations inhibiting or preventing economic growth in Florida, DEO will be suggesting new tax and job incentives for the Legislature to consider. Governor Scott will likely be encouraging Darling to work closely with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) which will be making their own pitch for more road building dollars as well as Public Private Partnership (PPP) opportunities. DEO and FDOT will also be working together on budget incentives which will encourage port and rail infrastructure growth in an effort to capitalize upon the Governor’s commitment to attract post-panamax mega shipping to Florida.

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