Sunday, June 19, 2011

Scott signs bill creating Fla. commerce agency

Florida will get a new economic development agency but lose another that was supposed to keep urban sprawl in check under a new law signed Tuesday by Gov. Rick Scott.

The Republican governor said the legislation (SB 2156) would help him keep promises to streamline government, eliminate inefficiencies and create jobs by growing Florida's economy.

The law shifts the Office of Tourism Trade and Economic Development from Scott's office to the new agency that will be called the Department of Economic Opportunity effective Oct. 1.

It also will help the state more quickly react to business development opportunities, Scott said. The law shortens the deadline for acting on incentive funding requests to 10 days instead of as many as 42 and will let Scott hand out incentives of up to $2 million without legislative approval.

The statute also abolishes the Department of Community Affairs and along with it state oversight of growth management including most local and regional land planning decisions.

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