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  1. Business

Chief Executive magazine survey of best business states again names Florida No. 2, but raises concerns

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, right, have been locked in a bitter battle over the fate of Enterprise Florida. Chief Executive magazine on Tuesday ranked Florida No. 2 among the best states for business but raised questions over the political future of economic development in the state. The current legislative budget calls for sharp cuts to Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, moves Scott argues will imperil the state economy. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
Published May 11, 2017

For the fifth straight year Florida was ranked as the No. 2 state for business in Chief Executive magazine's 13th annual "Best & Worst States for Business" survey. The state consistently ranks among the leaders since the survey's inception — in part, the magazine states, because CEOs find it one of the top living environments. The rankings appear in the magazine's May/June issue and reflect CEO perceptions of best and worst states based on a range of key measures.

Florida trailed only Texas, which has held a grip on the top ranking every year the survey has been conducted. But not all of the survey feedback on Florida was good. "CEOs ranked its workforce quality a relatively low No. 18," the magazine states. "And the state's economic development efforts are in question due to infighting between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-controlled legislature." Florida's new legislative budget, which still faces the governor's review, would sharply cut the use of state funds to recruit businesses and market the state's tourism industry.

North Carolina, South Carolina and Indiana round out the survey's top five. California again was named the worst state for business followed by New York and Illinois, all three being high tax states. Ohio rose sharply in the survey to No. 11 from No. 22, while Louisiana fell to No. 33 from No. 7 in the prior year's survey.

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