Governor, Cabinet hire Revenue chief; approve Jerusalem resolution

Jim Zingale
Zingale also was House Appropriations staff director under a Democratic majority.

As expected, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday approved Jim Zingale as the next head of the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR) and backed a resolution to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Zingale is a veteran, having already served 18 years with the department, serving as Deputy Director for nine years and seven years as Executive Director, the top job, under former Gov. Jeb Bush.

It’s also a bipartisan pick: Zingale once was House Appropriations Committee staff director under a Democratic majority. More recently, he was research director of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida. 

The position answers to both the Governor and Cabinet, meaning hiring and firing also requires the consent of CFO Jimmy Patronis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Fried is a Democrat; the rest are Republicans.

Zingale and his family also operate a pool hall and sports bar in Tallahassee, managed by his son Mike, in a former Gold’s Gym location near downtown.

His salary was set at $151,000 a year.

Patronis last week sent a letter to fellow Cabinet members, asking that a resolution proclaiming Jerusalem “as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel” be taken up for consideration.

“Today, we declare to the world that Florida stands united with Israel,” the CFO said, with Fried – who is Jewish – adding that the matter was “near and dear to my heart.”

“This resolution will send a clear message to the world: Florida remains committed to our steadfast relationship with Israel. As a state, we must continue to demonstrate our broad and deep support for our ally and economic partner by implementing pro-Israel policies,” Patronis said in a previous statement.

Florida law prevents the state from investing in companies that boycott the state of Israel.

President Donald Trump last month recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and said the U.S. Embassy would move there from Tel Aviv.

As CNN explained, the announcement upended “seven decades of U.S. foreign policy (and was) expected to inflame tensions in the region and unsettle the prospects for peace.”

That’s because “the Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their capital. It was argued that a unilateral decision would break with international consensus and prejudge an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations.”

In other business, the panel also – at Moody’s request – recognized January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Staff Reports


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