Rep. Jeff Clemens, Democratic Ranking Member, State Affairs Committee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Rejecting a 1980s-era comedian’s bad advice about good legislation, House Democratic Ranking Member Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) today urged Governor Rick Scott to sign into law House Bill 7117, a bipartisan package that creates a framework for current and future energy policy for the State of Florida.
The legislation awaiting the governor’s action provides incentives aimed at supporting renewable energy technologies, promotes and protects power generation and availability for future generations, and provides a pathway for job creation in Florida.
Representative Clemens, the Democratic Ranking Member on the House State Affairs Committee, said House Bill 7117 is a “small but worthy step” toward establishing energy independence for Florida that may help to diversity the state away from dependency on natural gas for over half of the state’s electricity needs. The bill, which is based on recommendations from Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and others, would provide up to $16 million in tax credits for renewable energy next year, and up to $1 million per year for the following four years.
House Bill 7117 won approval in the Florida House and state Senate on nearly unanimous votes but came under criticism yesterday from a handful of conservative activists, including former Saturday Night Live comedian Victoria Jackson of Miami. Representative Clemens offered the following statement:
“I am 100-percent positive that Governor Scott will look to someone a lot more qualified than a washed up comedian for advice on Florida’s energy future,” said Representative Clemens. “House Bill 7117 is a small but worthy step toward establishing energy independence for Florida. And despite yesterday’s attack by a few Tea Party followers, I expect the governor will recognize that HB 7117 allows the free market to determine which sectors of alternative energy products will succeed and will allow the state to provide credits based on investments by the business community.”