Controversy continues at the state level as Governor Rick Scott has launched a state-wide tour to show his support for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.
Recently a Florida House subcommitte voted to approve a proposal that would abolish the two agencies.
Governor Scott is bringing his fight for to Bay County by hosting a roundtable at Captain Anderson’s restaurant.
“We have got to be active. If we’re going to win this, we’ve got to tell everybody in Talahassee that you have to fully fund Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida so we get more jobs here,” said Governor Rick Scott.
Elected officials, along with tourism and economic development leaders joined the conversation.
“If we do away with Enterprise Florida, if we do away with Visit Florida, it would be the biggest catastrophe to hit the state of Florida,” said Allan Bense.
“It would be foolish to take something that works and do anything other than support it,” said Senator George Gainer.
“I can’t stand to hear the terms ‘corporate welfare’ when it comes to funding these incentive programs. It’s more like mom and pop life support.”
Area employees that rely on tourism also packed the restaurant to standing room only to show their support.
“I’m actually a native of Florida, born and raised in Niceville Florida and it’s just very intimidating to think that we could lose those funds for our area,” said Krystal Helms, TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort Employee.
Governor Scott wasted no time citicizing those who voted for the propsal to defund the agencies.
“In Tallahassee, there’s some politicians that don’t understand the importance of a job. I am shocked that Representative Jay Trumbull voted to abolish Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida,” said Scott.
In response to that, Representative Jay Trumbull said his vote was not an attempt to limit jobs, but to start a conversation about transparency and accountability within the agencies.
“I understand how important it is, as a business owner to market and to brand, but I think that taking, you know, questionable calls like giving Pitbull a million dollars to create a music video that only promotes Miami aren’t the best use of Bay County tax dollars or the rest of the state’s tax dollars,” said Trumbull.
Governor Rick Scott was in town Tuesday hosting a roundtable with local business owners, economic development leaders, tourism leaders, and community members.
The conversation centered around the recent proposal in the state House of Representatives to cut funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.
There was standing room only at the event because many locals in the tourism industry came to show their support for Visit Florida with signs.
Scott expressed his passion for the two state agencies, and condemned our local representative for voting to pass the proposal.
“This is about making sure everybody in this community has a job. In Tallahassee, there’s some politicians that don’t understand the importance of a job. I am shocked that Representative Jay Trumbull voted to abolish Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. I appreciate Senator Gainer for his complete support of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida because it’s about jobs for Florida families,” said Governor Rick Scott.