It's a new era officially in the administration of Gov. Rick Scott.
With Kim McDougal in as the new chief of staff, there has been a shuffling of responsibilities inside the governor's office. McDougal recently took over for Melissa Sellers and this post highlighted how things could change now that Scott has switched over to his fifth chief of staff. As noted previously McDougal, who has a long background on education policy, is maintaining her oversight in that arena even though she has been promoted from her previous position as legislative affairs director and deputy chief of staff.
Why is this chart important?
Because it shows the names of the people inside the governor's office who have direct responsibility over various functions in state government. These are the people who work day to day with agency heads and serve as the liaison between them and the governor. And they are the ones that lobbyists generally turn to when they have a problem or issue with a particular agency head.
So you can note that as part of the reorganization Kristin Olson, Scott's cabinet aide is now titled a deputy chief of staff and has added some of those agencies under her guidance including the Department of Management Services. DMS is a very important agency to Tallahassee lobbyists and insiders because it controls many important contracts and is involved in everything from the recent bat guano dustup at a state office complex to the state's health insurance program.
Frank Collins, who has held a couple of different positions in the executive office, is no longer dealing with the Department of Corrections, another agency that has been in the news a lot in the last couple of years. That department has now shifted over to Jeff Woodburn, the director of policy. Brad Piepenbrink, meanwhile, has picked up the Department of Transportation from Collins.
Another interesting detail on the new chart: The head of Enterprise Florida no longer reports directly to Scott in this new chart.
When he ran for governor back in 2010, Scott talked about how he would have the head of the economic development agency, who is also known as the Secretary of Commerce, report directly to him and would be just a few doors down.
Bill Johnson, the current head, is departing at some point this year from the post although it remains unclear when that will be. (On a conference call today, it was noted Johnson is heading out on some trade trips in the next few weeks on behalf of Enterprise Florida.) Johnson had clashes with legislators as he pushed the governor's agenda of more incentive funding for the agency. Johnson announced his departure shortly after this year's session ended when the Republican-controlled Legislature refused to grant Scott's request for $250 million. Since that time Scott has also said he wants to look at a restructuring of the agency.
Here's the way the executive office looked when Sellers first took over.