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Florida’s New Governor and His Initial Executive Orders!

On January 4, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott kicked off his term by signing a series of Executive Orders directly impacting state contractors and Florida’s business regulatory system.  First, Executive Order 11-02, requires all agencies under the direction of the Governor to use the federal E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of their current and prospective employees. The Executive Order is effective immediately
and also imposes similar E-Verify requirements on state contractors and encourages agencies not under the direction of the Governor to use the E-Verify system.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) manage E-Verify, an Internet based system that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. While the E-Verify system is mandatory for qualified federal contractors, it was voluntary for state agencies in Florida until this most recent Executive Order.

Governor Scott also signed Executive Order 11-01 suspending all state agency rulemaking and creating the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform (the “Office”) to review all proposed and existing state agency rules and regulations. The Executive Order prohibits agencies from issuing new rules except at the direction of the Office, which is ordered to review current and proposed agency rules to determine  whether they negatively impact job availability and/or the business climate in Florida. Finally, the Executive Order also prohibits state agencies, for a period of 90 days from the date of the Order, from executing a contract in excess of $1 million without obtaining prior approval from the Office.

Governor Scott also signed two other Executive Orders, one establishing the Office of Open Government and creating the Governor’s Code of Ethics and the other reaffirming the commitment to diversity in government.

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