Governor, Legislature Battle over Incentive Programs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott is going on the offensive after a house subcommittee voted on a bill that would kill two important economic incentive programs.

The house careers & competition subcommittee approved the proposal that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.

Scott is strongly supporting Enterprise Florida, which provides financial incentives to companies that create jobs, and Visit Florida, the agency that markets the state to tourists.
 
His proposed budget includes $85 million for Enterprise Florida and $76 million for Visit Florida. 
 
But House Speaker Richard Corcoran has vowed to cut all funding for the programs, calling economic incentives 'corporate welfare'.
 
On Tuesday, Scott accused Corcoran of grand-standing for political gain.
 
"We are seeing people that just want to run for higher office that are not concerned about what happens to other people. they just think it's a nice sound bite," Scott said. "That doesn't help anybody in their community, it doesn't help anybody in our state."
 
The battle escalated Wednesday during the committee meeting.
 
*"The problem with economic incentives is that they are selective," said Rep. Paul Renner, (R) Palm Coast. "They absolutely pick winners and losers. we want to make sure that Florida is, in its entirety as a state, permanently and forever is an incentive that welcomes businesses."
 
Republican Committee Chairman Halsey Besheares, who's district includes Gulf, Franklin, Liberty and Calhoun counties, voted for the bill.
So did Republican Committee Member Jay Trumbull, who represents the majority of Bay County.
 
The bill has several stops before going to a full vote in the house.The senate is not considering a similar proposal.
 
News 13 will have more tonight at 5 and 6 from local leaders who attended today's meeting. 

 


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