Gov. Scott's Freeze on Road Building Cost Jobs

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Within minutes of taking office, Rick Scott put the clamp on any new state contract worth more than a million dollars.

"We'll run the state like we run a business. You measure everything."

Caught in the squeeze were more than four hundred million dollars in road building contracts.

"Contracts that had already been awarded are moving forward, but those that were still in the pipeline have come to a screeching halt."

Pam Nobles runs a surveying firm. She is a subcontractor to several of the contracts negotiated and awarded in a bid process, but Scott's freeze stopped what is called a "notice to proceed". That's turned into pink slips for some in the small firm.

"We've had to layoff I think three people. It's probably four by the end of the week, which has brought our labor force down quiet a bit, we're going to keep everyone else working. So it's really hard when you are a small company to layoff anyone."

Democrats initially pointed out the freeze could be a job killer. House Democratic Leader Ron Saunders calls the losses unintended consequences.

"We asked him to release those contracts and he did. Hopefully he won't do that again without knowing that he does have consequences when he takes actions and we want to make sure we create jobs not kill them."

The good news for Nobles and the people laid off is that her contracts were put on a list seeking fast track approval from the Governor's office.


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