Sen. Gaetz Tapped To Find Economic Solutions

TALLAHASSEE – Saying economic recovery is the most important issue now facing Florida, Senate President Jeff Atwater on Tuesday named members of a select committee to begin an analysis of the state’s economy and budget.

“This is a crisis and we are treating it as such,” said Atwater, R-North Palm Beach.

Republican Sen. Don Gaetz of Niceville, whose district covers five counties in Northwest Florida, was appointed chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Florida’s Economy, which is expected to propose legislation and constitutional amendments designed to jump-start the state’s economy.

“I have selected Sen. Gaetz because of his extensive knowledge and direct experience in the business economy,” said Atwater, R-North Palm Beach. “This committee will conduct an independent, thorough analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Florida’s financial infrastructure and regulatory policies in order to promote an environment of economic success for all Floridians.”

Atwater said he expects the committee to work quickly to propose legislation that will create incentives and eliminate impediments to economic recovery and growth. He also expects it to develop policies that will help government function more simply, more transparently, less expensively and more effectively.

“Government doesn’t create prosperity and Florida’s economic downturn is part of an international and national recession,” Gaetz said. “In the long term, the best way to deal with revenue shortfalls is to lay the foundation for economic growth.”

The recession has hit hard at Florida’s budget, with recent projections showing the state with a more than $2 billion budget shortfall.

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