House Sets Stage For Scaling Back Visit Florida

Mar 9, 2017

Rep. Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast)
Credit Mark Foley via FL House website

It appears a one million dollar contract could cost Visit Florida much, much more.  The House is moving forward with a plan to cut the agency’s funding by two thirds and establish more stringent oversight.

House lawmakers lined up a Friday vote for a measure stripping funding from an agency using state dollars to promote Florida tourism.  Rep. Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) zeroed in on a contract with the rapper Pitbull to justify the idea.

“When we want to get at a contract, and the Pitbull contract has been the one in the news so I’ll use that as an example,” Renner said, “that the initial response was we’re not going to share that information with you because it’s subject to a public records exemption.  This bill eliminates that public records exemption.”

But the measure includes far more than just transparency.  The bill places limits on how much top employees can make, how the agency spends money for travel and procurement and requires a legislative panel sign off on contracts worth 750,000 dollars or more.