Governor Rick Scott today criticized the Florida House’s vote to eliminate the Florida Defense Alliance, which is included in HB 7005 that eliminates Enterprise Florida, during the Fighting for Florida Jobs Roundtable in Seminole. The Florida Defense Alliance, which is part of Enterprise Florida, is a crucial partner to the Florida Defense Support Task Force, which protects and strengthens Florida’s military installations ahead of any potential Department of Defense realignment or closure actions. The Florida Defense Alliance also advocate for both active and retired Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, National Guard, reserves, and family members that rely on these installations. Florida’s military installations contribute more than $79.8 billion in economic impact, and the defense industry supports more than 774,000 jobs in Florida.
Governor Scott said, “[The Florida House] didn’t just vote to get rid of Enterprise Florida and make it very difficult for VISIT FLORIDA to operate, they did other things. We have 20 military bases and three unified commands in this state. It’s a big part of our economy- in different parts of our state, it’s very big. They said they want to get rid of the [Florida Defense Alliance.] That’s what helps keeps our military bases here. Every so often, as you know, they have BRAC [Base Realignment and Closure], where they review whether they’re going to keep military bases. So we, every year, try to figure out how we can help our bases solve all of their problems. We make sure they don’t have encroachment issues, make sure their kids can get in the right schools, all of these things. The [Florida Defense Alliance] helps do that. They voted to eliminate it. And there are other programs that help jobs. It doesn’t make sense.”