State Capitol Briefs
SCOTT: STATE WEIGHING MOVES IN VOTER PURGE
The state is still weighing its next moves in an attempt to remove suspected non-citizens from the voting rolls, Gov. Rick Scott said Monday. In an interview with Fox News, Scott said the state would probably decide this week what the “next step” in the case would be. The statement comes despite assurances last week to a federal judge that the state had halted the program, which sends names of suspected non-citizens to local elections officials. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle rejected a request from the federal government to bar the state from taking any more steps, but said his ruling was driven in part by assurances from the state that it would not forward any more names to county elections supervisors. “One message I did want to send along is, I’m still here,” Hinkle said. In the TV interview, Scott also rejected arguments that the purge amounts to voter suppression. “I want everybody to vote … but only U.S. citizens,” he said.
AIRBUS TO BUILD IN MOBILE: SCOTT SAYS GOOD FOR PANHANDLE
A new $600 million aircraft assembly plant that will be built in Mobile, Ala., will have some positive residual effect on the neighboring Pensacola area and the western Florida Panhandle, Gov. Rick Scott said Monday. Airbus, the French aircraft manufacturing giant, plans to announce Monday in Mobile that it will build the new plant to produce three types of jumbo jets, which will employ 1,000 full time workers at capacity. Work will start on the plant in 2013 and 2,500 construction jobs will be created over two years. Aircraft assembly will start in 2015. Scott said Monday on CNBC that the announcement is good news for Florida. Scott also said Florida’s lack of in-come tax is leading to jobs being created here as well, pointing to the Indian company Mindtree’s recent announcement it will create 400 jobs in Gainesville and an announcement by Time Warner that will mean about 600 jobs in the Tampa Bay area.
A.G. HOLLEY CLOSES
Monday is the date set for the transfer or release of 36 patients from the state tuberculosis hospital, A.G. Holley, which will then be closed. The Legislature mandated in HB 1263 this past year that the agency close A.G. Holley, which is in Lantana in Palm Beach County, by January 1, 2013, but the state is moving to shut it down in phases. Most of A.G. Holley’s 138 employees will lose their jobs July 2, with no severance, according to a recent Palm Beach Post story.
MACNAMARA OUT, HOLLINGSWORTH IN
Adam Hollingsworth starts today as chief of staff to Gov. Rick Scott. Hollingsworth, who has worked as chief of staff to former Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, takes over for Steve MacNamara, who was Scott’s chief of staff for a year but resigned.