Would ‘payola’ go to Jobs Commish?by John Kennedy | March 11th, 2011
Senators got their first look Friday at a massive overhaul of the state’s economic development efforts — a move that consolidates a handful of agencies and industry recruiters under one person: the Commissioner of Jobs.
“There will be differences of opinion on many of these issues,” conceded Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, whose budget subcommittee held a short workshop on the bill.
The legislation ropes in some of what Gov. Rick Scott wants — a jobs czar that reports directly to him. But senators balked at some of the governor’s wishes, now contained in the bill, but seemingly doomed.
Scott wants the new Commish to have a public salary that could be enhanced by contributions from private sector companies.
Senators wheeled on that one, noting that sets up a scheme where taxpayers’ economic incentive dollars, controlled by the Commish, could be given to the companies that help pay what the bill calls, his “bonuses.”
“There’s a word that describes this, and I can only think of ‘payola,’ like they had in the record industry,” said Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.