Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida lost 10,000 jobs as stimulus funding winds down

TALLAHASSEE — Florida has lost about 10,000 jobs as contracts and grants from the federal stimulus program dry up, according to a new report from the Collins Center for Public Policy.

"Some of the big education grants are winding down," said Don Winstead, a Collins Center consultant who was former Gov. Charlie Crist's stimulus czar. "I expect the job numbers to decline from here on out."

The Florida-based think tank started crunching stimulus data with money from liberal investor George Soros after Republican Gov. Rick Scott stopped maintaining a similar website that Crist started. Read the report at collinscenter.org.

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act required states to create a website and Winstead said Florida is still meeting the minimum requirements. But the data, showing how much money had been spent on projects like road construction and water system renovations, is no longer centralized on flarecovery.com.

"The information is available if you know where to look for it," Winstead said.

Scott spokesman Brian Burgess said the stimulus site was dismantled because it was not getting significant Web traffic and because Scott "has different priorities." Scott, who opposes the stimulus program, has created his own public records site that posts information related to Scott's policy agenda — floridahasarighttoknow.com.

"We're not in the business of promoting the stimulus as a get-to-work program," Burgess said. "But I'm happy to see the Collins Center has taken it upon themselves to produce this report and I encourage everyone to go see how many taxpayer dollars are being spent on the stimulus."

Leda Perez, vice president of the Collins Center, said her group resurrected the site to "prompt questions and discussion" about spending decisions. Money for the project came from Open Society Foundations, which is funded by Soros.

"Citizen participation in this process can help to ensure a more transparent and accountable government," Perez said.

The Collins Center report has tracked $19.2 billion in stimulus money that Florida has spent.

The report shows that 163,000 jobs in Florida, including teachers, construction workers and law enforcement, have been created or maintained thanks to the money. That total is down from a high of 173,000 since September 2010.

The state has received a total of $22.8 billion from the stimulus program out of $24.6 billion expected.

Michael C. Bender can be reached at mbender@sptimes.com.

Florida lost 10,000 jobs as stimulus funding winds down 10/24/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 24, 2011 9:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  2. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

    Banking

    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  3. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza

    Retail

    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  4. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code

    Banking

    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  5. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]