Florida’s top economist diverges from Gov. Rick Scott in job growth strategy

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While Gov. Rick Scott was in New York recruiting jobs Thursday, the state’s top economist was in Tallahassee telling lawmakers that Florida’s strategy for growing the economy is off-base.

Economist Amy Baker laid out recommendations for economic incentive programs that differ from much of the strategy that Scott’s office has pursued. The state should give more support to small businesses and entrepreneurs, she said, and spend less effort trying to lure businesses in industries that might be drawn to Florida anyway.

“They or a competitor of theirs are likely to come to Florida anyway,” Baker said to the House Economic Affairs Committee. “If they’re likely to come anyway, you’re not really getting the bang for your buck.”