Posts Tagged ‘Department of Economic Opportunity’

Congressman Deutch wants answers about Kalashnikov USA and Russia sanctions

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch asked the Treasury Department Wednesday if it has investigated Pompano Beach-based Kalashnikov USA to determine whether federal sanctions were violated “through illicit business relations” with Russian firearms giant Concern Kalashnikov.
The post Congressman Deutch wants answers about Kalashnikov USA and Russia sanctions appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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State knew Pompano gun maker in business with banned Russian firm when tax incentives offered

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration knew in 2015 when it offered $162,000 in tax-refund incentives to Pompano Beach assault rifle maker Kalashnikov USA that the company was doing business with a Russian arms giant that was blacklisted by the U.S.
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Federal grand jury subpoenas state, city records in probe of maker of Russian assault rifles

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
A Miami federal grand jury has subpoenaed records from Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and Pompano Beach about an aborted economic incentives deal with the authorized U.S. manufacturer of Russian Kalashnikov assault rifles.
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Rick Scott, Kalashnikov assault rifles, tax incentives, U.S. sanctions, and Russian oligarchs

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
When Pompano Beach’s authorized manufacturer of Russian AK-47 assault rifles was in jeopardy of losing $162,000 in tax incentives in 2016, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration tried to ride to the rescue.
The post Rick Scott, Kalashnikov assault rifles, tax incentives, U.S. sanctions, and Russian oligarchs appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Broward, Pompano OK’d tax breaks for maker of Russian AK-47 assault rifles

Monday, March 5th, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
At the first regular meeting of the Broward County Commission after the Valentine’s Day shooting slaughter in Parkland, Mayor Beam Furr talked of anguish and action. But 32 months earlier Furr and his commission colleagues offered tax incentives to attract to Broward the maker of Russian-style AK-47 assault rifles.
The post Broward, Pompano OK’d tax breaks for maker of Russian AK-47 assault rifles appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Gov. Scott skirted Russia sanctions to offer tax breaks to maker of AK-47 assault rifle

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Gov. Rick Scott’s administration offered $162,000 in state tax breaks to bring to South Florida the manufacturer of the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, even though the U.S. had imposed sanctions against Russian-made military assault weapons.
The post Gov. Scott skirted Russia sanctions to offer tax breaks to maker of AK-47 assault rifle appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Before deaths, Gov. Rick Scott and Hollywood nursing home owner were chummy

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Before Gov. Rick Scott and South Florida healthcare mogul Dr. Jack Michel began pointing fingers at each other after elderly patients baked to death in Michel’s now-closed Hollywood nursing home, the two men were pals of a sort.
The post Before deaths, Gov. Rick Scott and Hollywood nursing home owner were chummy appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Florida’s unemployment rate ticks up to 5% in January

Monday, March 13th, 2017
Florida’s unemployment rate ticked up in January, reaching 5 percent for the first time in a year.
The January unemployment rate marks a slight uptick from December, when state officials reported an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. The statewide rate is higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.
Despite the increase in the unemployment rate, Gov. Rick Scott lauded private sector employers Monday for creating more than 50,000 jobs in January.
The governor made the monthly jobs announcement at Herc Rentals in Bonita Springs, and used his appearance to once again take aim at lawmakers who voted to support a

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Rick Scott talks Enterprise Florida, Visit Florida with SWFL business, community leaders

Monday, February 13th, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott met with Lee County community and business leaders, holding the first in a series of round table discussions across the state meant to rally support for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida funding.
“Right now, I’m going to fight every day to make sure we keep this funding because it’s good for your family,” said the Naples Republican. “It’s an investment. We make an investment and we get a return.”
Scott has requested $85 million for economic incentives for Enterprise Florida, making it one of his top priorities going into the 2017 Legislative Session. But the governor faces a

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DEO “Cissysplains” economic incentives to Richard Corcoran

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott has now sicced the Department of Economic Opportunity, headed by executive director Cissy Proctor, on the Florida House to take down its critique of economic incentives.
A news release, issued late Tuesday, continues the cold war of words between the governor, an ardent supporter of incentives, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who has called them “corporate welfare.”
The department’s response is reprinted below, unedited and in its entirety:
Today, the Florida House of Representatives used data maintained by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) that was unfortunately used to inaccurately describe the result of the state’s economic incentive programs.

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Fla. court says Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
A Florida appellate court has ruled that a former Uber driver isn’t entitled to unemployment benefits because he was an independent contractor, not an employee.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami ruled Wednesday for the Department of Economic Opportunity, the state’s jobs agency, against Darrin E. McGillis.
The ruling is another win for the San Francisco-based ridebooking service, which is fighting a multi-state legal battle not to be considered an employer so it doesn’t have to pay certain benefits under state labor laws.
McGillis filed for unemployment after Uber “revoked his access” to

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Florida unemployment rate holds steady at 4.9% in December

Friday, January 20th, 2017
Florida’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in December, holding steady at 4.9 percent for the second month in a row.
State officials, however, touted gains made in 2016, boasting Florida businesses created 237,300 private sector jobs in 2016.
“Over the last six years, we’ve worked each day to make it easier for job creators to invest and create new opportunities in our state, and we will continue to do everything we can to help Florida out compete other locations as the best place for jobs,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a statement.
Scott typically makes the monthly jobs announcement during a press conference,

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Personnel note: Dean Izzo departs DEO for Capital City Consulting

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Dean Izzo, the Department of Economic Opportunity‘s chief of staff, is leaving the state’s jobs agency for a post at Capital City Consulting, the firm announced Wednesday.
Izzo
Izzo, who also has been chief financial officer and chief information officer for DEO, begins Jan. 30. He had been with the agency since its creation in 2011.
“Dean will be a true asset to our current and future clients seeking partnership with the state and we are excited for him to join our growing team,” said Nick Iarossi, a partner at the firm.
Added Izzo in a statement: “Capital City Consulting is second to none for

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Florida’s economic development efforts are ‘underperforming’

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
Florida’s state economic development efforts are “underperforming,” according to a new legislative report.

An undesirable label by any standard, critics and lawmakers already skeptical of providing taxpayer support for private businesses are likely to seize on the bureaucratic euphemism and underlying findings to bolster their anti-incentives position ahead of the March state legislative session.
The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, a nonpartisan legislative research office, conducted a comprehensive review of Enterprise Florida Inc. and the Department of Economic Opportunity —the state’s two most prominent development organizations— and found the results of their economic development activities wanting when compared with other

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Company praised by Rick Scott hasn’t lived up to promises

Monday, December 5th, 2016
A company Gov. Rick Scott was praising more than a year ago for creating jobs is now delinquent in its property taxes and has never met its hiring goals.
The Fort Myers News-Press reported Sunday that Altair Training Solutions was supposed to be a multi-million dollar enterprise with facilities in Hendry and Collier counties where it would offer training for law enforcement and military combat personnel.
Altair’s owners, Michelle and Brian Jones, said they would bring 150 jobs, with an average annual salary of more than $62,000, to Hendry County. Back in May 2015, Scott himself visited a company location in

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Sanford Burnham doubles down against state efforts to recoup incentive money

Friday, December 2nd, 2016
Ten years to create 303 jobs.
That straight-forward commitment was a core aspect of an agreement that allowed a California-based biotech nonprofit to secure $350 million in state and Orlando-area taxpayer support.
It didn’t happen.
Penned in 2006, time has now run out on Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute’s deal with the state. It’s 66 jobs short, according to state records.
But rather than pay back some of the money, the research institute is doubling down on its refusal to comply with the state’s accountability efforts – even goading state officials “to help preserve and create more jobs.”
In a letter to the

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State wants money back from research institute

Monday, November 28th, 2016
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute claims that it does not owe half of the $155 million it received as an incentive to move to Florida, while the state has not backed down on its demand for a payback.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) still wants the Lake Nona research facility to return $77 million because it did not create the 303 jobs it promised. The money was supposed to be repaid by Nov. 15.
“DEO remains committed to holding Sanford Burnham accountable for all taxpayer monies received and will continue to investigate our options for any repayment necessary

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Despite philosophical differences, Richard Corcoran expects House committees to consider incentive requests

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
New House Speaker Richard Corcoran expects funding requests for Florida’s top jobs agency to move through his chamber’s committees, despite his strong personal objections to taxpayer-financed economic incentives.
Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida reports that Gov. Rick Scott is requesting $85 million in incentives for a broad range of business deals to attract businesses to Florida.
Also, the Department of Economic Opportunity — an agency Scott oversees — is requesting funds for VISIT FLORIDA, the quasi-governmental tourism arm, and Space Florida, which is tasked with boosting the state’s space sector.
Corcoran opposes those finance requests, just as he has a philosophical difference

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Despite philosophical differences, Richard Corcoran expects House committees to consider incentive requests

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
New House Speaker Richard Corcoran expects funding requests for Florida’s top jobs agency to move through his chamber’s committees, despite his strong personal objections to taxpayer-financed economic incentives.
Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida reports that Gov. Rick Scott is requesting $85 million in incentives for a broad range of business deals to attract businesses to Florida.
Also, the Department of Economic Opportunity — an agency Scott oversees — is requesting funds for VISIT FLORIDA, the quasi-governmental tourism arm, and Space Florida, which is tasked with boosting the state’s space sector.
Corcoran opposes those finance requests, just as he has a philosophical difference

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Florida DEO demands $77M back from Sanford Burnham

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute has two weeks to return $77.6 million in taxpayer money it received as an incentive to build a Central Florida research center.
However, the nonprofit research center has balked at the demand and claims they should not be required to repay the state.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) claims the troubled nonprofit has breached its contract to provide jobs and remain in the state for 20 years. The state wants Sanford Burnham to return half of the $155.3 million it gave in incentives to move to Central Florida. Under the 2006 agreement, the

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Florida’s unemployment rate 4.7% for fifth straight month

Friday, October 21st, 2016
Florida’s unemployment rate remained flat in September, marking the fifth straight month the state reported a rate of 4.7 percent.
The state added 17,900 private-sector jobs, bringing the total number of jobs created in 2016 to 200,000. According to the Governor’s Office, the state has created more than 1.2 million jobs since December 2010.
“We will continue to do all we can to encourage job creators to invest in our state so we can create more opportunities for Floridians to provide for their families and achieve their dreams,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a statement Friday.
Scott announced the monthly jobs numbers

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Florida’s unemployment rate holds steady at 4.7 percent

Friday, September 16th, 2016
Florida’s unemployment rate remained steady in August, marking the fourth straight month the state reported a rate of 4.7 percent.
The state added 22,600 private-sector jobs across the state in August, bringing the total number of jobs created in 2016 to 167,100. The unemployment rate remains at 4.7 percent, one of the lowest rate since November 2007, according to the Governor’s Office.
“It’s a great thing,” said Cissy Proctor, the executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity. “We have people moving into the state every day and private sector businesses are creating jobs. Having a steady unemployment rate with all

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Gov. Scott to get first state Supreme Court pick

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
Florida Supreme Court Justice James Perry announced Monday he is stepping down Dec. 30, which will give Gov. Rick Scott his first opportunity to begin reshaping a court that has frustrated Republicans on issues ranging from political maps to protecting doctors from lawsuits.
Perry, 72, is forced to leave the court because he’s reached the mandatory retirement age. Scott will almost certainly appoint a more conservative justice to replace him, though he didn’t give details about what he will look for in a justice.
“What I do is try to find the candidate that I believe will uphold the law and

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Jesse Panuccio: Florida workers have much to celebrate this Labor Day

Friday, September 4th, 2015
As we join family and friends at barbeques, pool parties, and picnics this weekend, it is worth reflecting on Florida’s remarkable economic turnaround. This Labor Day, Florida’s workforce is presented with pathways to prosperity that were unthinkable just a few years ago. The Great Recession hit Florida hard. Our unemployment rate skyrocketed to 11.2 percent, we lost 913,000 private-sector jobs, job demand plummeted, tourism faltered, our historic net inflow of new residents dried up, our real GDP declined, our housing market collapsed, and consumer confidence tanked. In short, during the recession, there was little for Florida’s workforce to celebrate

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