As budget negotiations heat up in the Florida Legislature, Gov. Rick Scott continues to make his case for the Florida Senate and House to both fully fund Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.
On Wednesday Scott started his day with another Jobs Roundtable, this time in Orlando, expressing frustration at the House for considering big cuts to both programs. Scott has now held 20 roundtable events since the start of the year calling on people in the business community to pressure the Legislature to keep both Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida fully funded.
And on Tuesday Scott told reporters after the Florida Cabinet meeting that since the Legislature first started cutting the flow of incentive dollars to Enterprise Florida last year, the state is seeing an impact. While private sector jobs are still growing, the state is “not seeing a lot of big deals” Scott said.
“We’ve got to compete,” Scott said about wanting to replenish the job incentive programs to attract more companies to come to Florida.
His plea comes as both the House and Senate are scheduled today to begin discussing a spending plan for next year. The House has no funding for Enterprise Florida in their budget and have proposed a dramatic cut to Visit Florida funding. The Senate has proposed giving Visit Florida $76 million - nearly equal to what it got this year from the state. For Enterprise Florida incentives, the Senate has proposed setting aside just over $84 million. About $38 million would be set aside for past incentive contracts that have already been agreed to with companies and $45 million would go to new incentive projects.