Senator Eleanor Sobel’s “Return on Investment” Bill Holds Department of Economic Opportunity Incentives Programs’ Feet to the Fire
CONTACT: PETER DELIA
SEN. ELEANOR SOBEL’S “RETURN ON INVESTMENT” BILL HOLDS DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY INCENTIVES PROGRAMS’ FEET TO THE FIRE
Tallahassee, FL – With support coming from both sides of the aisle, SB 572, sponsored by State Senator Eleanor Sobel (D – Hollywood), was passed out of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism unanimously. The bill, titled “Return on Investment”, would create new transparency measures for business incentives awarded by the Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise Florida and would codify current measures that have been adopted by rule. SB 572 comes amid criticism of the performance of these incentives and questions about Governor Scott’s job creation figures.
“This bill puts more than 25 strong accountability measures in place when giving tax breaks to businesses by holding businesses’ feet to the fire. It is clear that legislators are demanding more accountability for the taxpayer’s dollars when giving out incentives for businesses to come to and grow in Florida,” said Sen. Sobel.
The bill would mandate DEO to collect more detailed information on the jobs, investment, and tax benefits of the state’s economic development programs and to regularly publish these findings on an easily accessible online database available to the public. In addition, this bill would require DEO to assign each project an individual code to allow the public to easily track project information, and would require the incentive contracts themselves to be published within 48 hours of the incentives being awarded to the beneficiary.
Senator Sobel added, “As lawmakers and citizens, we need the information this bill will require to be published in order to determine if we are getting a worthy return on our investment.”
“Return on Investment” is sponsored in the House as HB 563 by Representative José Javier Rodríguez (D-Miami). Its next committee stop is the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.