Podcast: Ingram on the future of Triumph Gulf Coast

On Tuesday, Greater Pensacola Chamber CEO and State Rep. Clay Ingram discussed on News Talk 1370 WCOA’s “Pensacola Speaks” the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s efforts to fight workers’ comp rate hike and the future of Triumph Gulf Coast.

The workers’ comp rates are expected to go up 17.1 percent effective August 1. Ingram hinted that a special legislative session may be called to deal possible legislative fixes.

“I’ve heard rumor of it, but nothing solid,” he said. “I don’t want to put that out there, but something of this magnitude certainly could warrant being called back to deal with it.”

Triumph Gulf Coast was established to handle the BP funds earmarked for the Panhandle counties impacted by the 2010 BP oil spill. The first $300 million are expected to come to our area. However, the actual appropriations may end up being handled by the Florida Legislature. He said Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran’s “feels like if it’s in the treasury that it should be appropriate by the legislature.”

Ingram said of the incoming Speaker, “He sort of indicated that he doesn’t intend to change that split (75 percent for Panhandle), which is positive for us, but that he wouldn’t want money going to incentive programs, and that infrastructure, workforce programs, all the things you would need to do anyway to attract companies and diversify the economy, are in bounds. We’re still working with him to really define what’s permissible under his philosophy and what’s not to maximize what we can get.”