Created out of a merger of the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED), portions of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), and portions of the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI), the Department of Economic Opportunity will be in place by October 1, 2011. The responsibilities of the new department include:
- Oversight and coordination of economic development, housing, growth management, community development programs, and unemployment compensation.
- Development of a single, statewide five-year strategic plan to address the promotion of business formation, expansion, recruitment, and retention in order to create jobs for all regions of the state.
- Establishment of annual performance standards for Enterprise Florida, Inc., Workforce Florida, Inc., VISIT Florida, and Space Florida.
- A streamlined incentive process whereby incentives for economic development projects must be approved or denied within 10 days of submitting an application to the department. Quick Action Closing Fund projects require recommendation to the governor in seven days. In addition, the governor may approve projects costing less than $2 million; projects from $2 million – $5 million require notification to the Legislative Budget Commission (LBC); and projects costing more than $5 million must be approved by the LBC.
The State Economic Enhancement and Development (SEED) Trust Fund is created within the department to fund the state's economic development efforts. The trust fund is funded as follows:
- Effective July 1, 2012, $75 million from documentary stamp tax revenues, currently dedicated to affordable housing trust funds, is redirected into the SEED Trust Fund
- Effective July 1, 2012, State Transportation Trust Fund dollars are redirected into the SEED Trust Fund, phased in over three years: $50 million for fiscal year 2012 –13; $65 million for fiscal year 2013 –14; and $75 million for fiscal year 2014 –15 and subsequent years
- The affordable housing trust funds are maintained as in current law