October 4, 2001
Source: Representative Tom Feeney, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives

Today, House Speaker Tom Feeney announced the formation of an informal working group focused on the study of Tourism, Transportation and Economic Development in Florida. Representative Randy Johnson will preside over and coordinate meetings.
"Florida's tourism, transportation and economic development interests have been essential in the development of our international recognition and local status as a world leader in business growth and opportunity. They also constitute a keystone in our state's economic engine and tax revenue base. It is essential that in this difficult time, while we focus on maintaining our security for Florida's residents and visitors, that we also support our business community with creative solutions to an unprecedented challenge," said House Speaker Tom Feeney.

The Informal Working Group has appointed Representatives Alexander, Flanagan, Gardiner, Harper, Holloway, Johnson, Prieguez, Sobel and Trovillion, to serve on this working group. The groups' aim will be to focus on the immediate economic challenges that Florida's business interests are facing and make recommendations to leadership regarding potential solutions. While the group will not have the official status of a committee at this time, meetings will be noticed in accordance with House Rules anytime members discuss potential legislative action.

"The tragic events of September 11th have had an immediate negative impact on Florida's economy. It is essential that the legislatures utilize our current assets, and provide a support for Florida's business economy that will help it return stronger and more self-reliant than ever," said Representative Randy Johnson.

The working group will work with the House Council on Competitive Commerce, which oversees economic legislation, including legislation on financial, tourism, and economic development issues. Council Chair Rep. JD Alexander announced that his council's October 10 meeting will be devoted to a workshop on the impact of the World Trade Center events on tourism.

Representative JD Alexander said, "We all know that tourism is central to our entire Florida economy, directly responsible for 20% of sales tax revenue and almost a million jobs. We need to do everything we can, and the first step is getting all the good information we can. The needs are great, and our resources are limited."