Enterprise Florida, Other Agencies Face Empty Chairs At The Top

Mar 29, 2016

Credit Enterprise Florida website

Several of Florida’s state agencies are facing vacancies.  Veterans Affairs chief Mike Prendergast is stepping down to run for Citrus County Sheriff, the state is looking to replace Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarthy who is resigning in early May, and the search continues at the Florida Department of Revenue.

Now Enterprise Florida Chief Bill Johnson is quitting after lawmakers refused to grant the economic recruitment agency an additional $250 million. Governor Rick Scott says that means Enterprise Florida has to downsize.

“We’ve got to look at how are we going to be competitive with other states that have programs where you can go out and incentivize companies to move and expand in your state? From my standpoint, I’m focused on taxpayers getting a good return on their investment….But the legislature gets to appropriate, and they made the decision not to appropriate," said Scott. 

Former Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins will lead the review. Scott has asked for $6 million in savings from Enterprise Florida and that could mean job cuts.

Scott and Chief Financial Atwater couldn't agree on who--state Rep. Bill Hager or Jeffery Bragg of Palm Harbor--should replace McCarthy. Scott has said he'd like to see more applications.