Florida governor signs IT reform bill

Florida will create a new state World Wide Web portal and provide tax exemptions

for companies to build broadband access and a network access point under

a wide-reaching information technology bill signed May 26 by Gov. Jeb Bush.

The IT reforms will change Florida for the better, said Tina Watts, director

of IT Florida, an information technology task force that provided several

recommendations that were incorporated in the bill.

"It puts Florida in a better position with the high-tech community, and

will help us attract new businesses and keep the ones we have," she said.

Other reforms in the bill would create:

* A marketing campaign to advertise Florida's high-tech environment for

businesses,

* Online procurement tied to the state Web site.

* A Web portal devoted to connecting employers and employees.

* Tax exemptions on equipment for companies creating broadband access.

* Incentives for companies to create the network access point in southern

Florida.

The statewide Web portal will tie together all aspects of state government

into one site and will be up by the end of the year, Watts said.

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