Sine Die: DEO leader spotlights budget successes

Florida Job Growth Grant Fund among top department priorities.

Florida’s top economic appointee found plenty of highlights in a budget passed Saturday by the Florida Legislature.

Ken Lawson, executive director for Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director, issued a statement of support to lawmakers.

“On behalf of the hardworking and devoted staff of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, I would like to thank the Florida Legislature for passing a supportive budget that allows our team to help strengthen Florida’s communities,” he said.

The DEO tacked Florida’s workforce and community develop efforts in tandem. The office aims to expedite economic development and spur job creation

Specifically, Lawson said the Legislature funded programs that will encourage economic development in underserved areas.

“This budget provides increased funding for rural communities, authority for our agency to spend critical dollars for long-term disaster recovery efforts and offer continued opportunities to enhance infrastructure and workforce training programs through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund,” he said.

That fund has been controversial in past years as lawmakers wrestled over Enterprise Florida. The spending stood as a priority for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The new Governor called for the fund’s continuation this year, while promising it would not be used just for “handing out money.”

Lawson said the continuation of the fund will be important as the administration moves forward.

“These priorities allow us to fulfill Governor DeSantis’ vision for a better and brighter future for all Floridians,” he said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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