DeSantis Signs Enterprise Florida Elimination

DeSantis Signs Enterprise Florida Elimination

By The News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a bill that will eliminate Enterprise Florida, the state’s business-recruitment agency, and announced that J. Alex Kelly will serve as the new commerce secretary. The bill (HB 5), a priority of House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, will shift contracts and more than 20 programs to the Department of Economic Opportunity, which will be renamed the Department of Commerce.

A news release from DeSantis’ office described the changes as an effort “to streamline and modernize Florida’s economic development agencies.” Kelly, who has served as a deputy chief of staff to DeSantis, will lead the revamped Department of Commerce. Kelly has worked in DeSantis’ office since April 2021, after a little more than two years as chief of staff at the Florida Department of Education.

Meredith Ivey has been acting secretary of the Department of Economic Opportunity since Dane Eagle stepped down on Dec. 30. Ivey had been chief of staff at the department, following stints as deputy director of communications for DeSantis and the Republican Party of Florida.

The bill signed Wednesday also will repeal numerous incentive-related programs, including the Office of Film and Entertainment. The renamed Department of Commerce will pick up 20 positions and $10 million a year as part of the shift. The bill also will designate the Visit Florida tourism-marketing agency and the Florida Sports Foundation as “direct-support organizations” under the Department of Commerce. The two agencies will have to enter agreements with the department to continue existing programs.

6 Responses to "DeSantis Signs Enterprise Florida Elimination"

  1. Another fun fact. The Florida Dept. of Commerce did exist until it was abolished by Gov. Chiles in 1996 with the creation of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. The Chiles administration went full steam into the creation of these “public/private” partnerships. This was just another approach to promoting regulatory capture by the very people you were suppose to oversee as a government agency. Kinda like how today’s CDC, FDA, HHS have all been captured by Big Pharma.

    As for agency names they come and go just like the wind. Just look at how many name changes have occurred for the Dept. of Economic Opportunity. They were the Dept. of Commerce into the Graham administration, then became the Florida Dept. of Labor, then Agency for Workforce Innovation, then Dept. of Economic Opportunity and now back to the Department of Commerce. Yes, there is a cost to name changes but not as much as you might think, especially with today’s technology.

  2. But what’s the cost to taxpayers to change the department’s name? What a waste, all that branding on everything from online info, printed letterhead, documents, etc.

  3. I agree with Pat, and would second Skeptic on the abolishing DOE. I would add the IRS – or at least a large portion of the agency – to the list. If we eliminated personal income tax altogether and transitioned to a fair or flat tax type of system – with a cap commensurate with a Constitutionally-Required balanced federal budget – then everyone would have to pay into the system at the point of sale.

    We should also return to a generic and essential foods only mandate for welfare recipients… and require photo ID to verify “recipient use only” for all entitlement services. The scams being worked throughout these systems are mind boggling.

    I would add requiring single mothers seeking entitlement services for their children to provide the names and contact information of their baby-daddies… then garnishing all Social Security funds attached to those deadbeat dads, refuse any entitlements to those deadbeats… then funnel those funds back into the systems feeding and caring for their children. If the deadbeats reach SS age and have no funds in their account, so be it. Find a sidewalk in any number of Democrat-run cities and pitch a tent with the rest of the losers.

  4. @Pat — My first target would the the federal Department of Education. It’s a $55B/yr agency that educates not a single child and has the mission to “promote education”. It DOES give away a lot of money as “scholarships” or “opportunities”. Throwing free money at education has had the same effect as the free money thrown at health care. Neither are affordable by Joe Average any longer….

  5. Fun fact, look into how much Disney contributed over the years whether directly or in-kind to Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida as part of this “public-private” partnership. That may give some insight.

    There is more to do, such as abolishing the monthly corporate welfare Florida taxpayer payments to select professional sports stadiums and spring training facilities throughout the state.

  6. With 50 percent of the Country paying 100 percent of the bills, we need to eliminate a lot of government programs. Enough is enough. Taxpayers worked hard to get into the 33% tax bracket. Then they forfeit another 7.5% through sales tax. Add in fuel taxes and local taxes and the working man and woman get to keep less than half of their income while the welfare community contributes nothing.

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