After months on the attack, House Speaker Richard Corcoran is actually being complimentary of Visit Florida.
“It’s clear that Visit Florida has heard us loud and clear and are beginning the process of cleaning up their act and ceasing the waste of taxpayer money,” said Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes.
The positive outlook voiced by Corcoran comes after he says the organization tasked with increasing the number of visitors to the Sunshine State is apparently listening to open criticism of Visit Florida, and has canceled a car racing sponsorship as well as working on a new deal with an English football club.
For months Corcoran and Governor Rick Scott have battled it out about Visit Florida, as Corcoran called for more transparency and massive cuts to the Visit Florida budget that was more than $80 million. By the end of special session, the Visit Florida budget was cut down, but not by much, to $76 million.
The new budget was a win for the newly appointed Visit Florida president, Ken Lawson and Gov. Scott. During Session 2017, Lawson and Scott both warned lawmakers that cutting the Visit Florida budget so drastically would result in massive loses of visitors, then in turn a massive loss of jobs in Florida.
Visit Florida contracts valued at $500,000 are now required to be posted online. Contracts for more than $750,000 will now go before the Joint Legislative Budget Commission with the possibility it could be killed within 14 days by the House speaker or Senate president.
“We are confident with the new oversight provisions that require House and Senate approval and complete transparency, we will be able to protect taxpayers,” Corcoran said in the statement.
Another change to Visit Florida includes salary caps and travel restrictions for Visit Florida employees.