(HT: Jo Ingles at WOSU/NRP Statehouse Correspondent)
Yesterday, I was testifying in front of the House Finance and Appropriation Committee about how these programs don’t work and how three of the top five States in unemployment have these entities.
One of those entities is Florida—the State John Kasich LOVED to say Ohio should model itself off of during the campaign.
Little did I know that at that same time, newly elected Governor Rick Scott of Florida was declaring publicly that he was largely ending Florida’s experimentation with public-private economic development:
Gov. Rick Scott has proposed restoring Florida’s Commerce Department to streamline economic development efforts.
The new Republican governor announced his proposal Thursday at meeting of Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership that assumed the department’s economic development role when it was dissolved in 1996.
It will need legislative approval but drew immediate support from business interests.
On Wednesday, Scott apparently quietly fired the head of Enterprise Florida before he announced he was reviving the Florida Department of Commerce to do the State’s streamlined economic development efforts.
The business community in Florida is applauding the decision:
Associated Industries of Florida president and CEO Barney Bishop said attracting new businesses and jobs requires a different approach than what Florida is doing now.
"By establishing a new Department of Commerce to orchestrate all of Florida’s business development activities, we can better coordinate efforts and harness collective strengths of each entity responsible for facilitating employment opportunities," Bishop said in a statement.
"Of particular interest is the governor’s recognition that speed in review and decision-making represents an opportunity for improving Florida’s competitive position against other states," said Florida Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Mark Wilson.
The article later notes that both the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida had been major supporters of abolishing the Commerce Department and replace it with Enterprise Florida. Although Scott says Enterprise Florida will continue to exist, it’s clearly a vastly reduced form that currently, and it’s entirely uncertain what exactly it will be doing now.