Governor Rick Scott released the below statement on the proposed budgets within the Florida Senate and Florida House. The Florida Senate’s proposed budget includes more than $80 million for Enterprise Florida programs and $76 million for VISIT FLORIDA, while the Florida House’s proposed budget eliminates Enterprise Florida and slashes VISIT FLORIDA’s budget to $25 million.
Governor Scott said, “Over the past few months, Floridians and job creators from across the state have come together in support of important economic development programs like Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA. I want to thank the Florida Senate for listening to our families and job creators by proposing to fully fund Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA.
“Unfortunately, at this time, the Florida House has chosen to continue ignoring the Floridians they serve. The House’s decision to severely cut the budget of VISIT FLORIDA is especially shocking when we look at how disastrous this has been in other states. A reduction of tourism marketing means a reduction of visitors and revenue, which increases the tax burden for our families and threatens the jobs of more than 1.4 million Floridians who rely on the tourism industry.
“Over and over again, politicians in the House have failed to understand that Florida is competing for job creation projects against other states and countries across the globe. Eliminating Enterprise Florida means we will not be able to effectively compete for new opportunities. Furthermore, while the House originally claimed that the role of EFI could be relocated to DEO, their proposed budget instead slashes positions within DEO’s Division of Business Development. The individuals in these positions are crucial to ensuring businesses honor their contracts and job creation goals before receiving any economic incentive dollars. Eliminating the majority of these positions puts our taxpayers’ hard-earned money at risk.”