Governor Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran may be members of the same party, but they hold a very different view on several key positions regarding business incentives and tourism marketing.
Governor Scott is asking the legislature to approve $85 million for Enterprise Florida funding, a public-private economic development corporation, as a means of attracting more major employers to the Sunshine State. The Governor has the backing of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, who’s CEO Wilson said Enterprise Florida is a key component of bringing in “high-wage, high-skill jobs.” Governor Scott is also asking for $76 million for Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing program.
Both measures are met with opposition from Speaker Corcoran who contest that the state government should not “pick winners and losers” in the market, nor should it spend public money on boosting tourism to promote private companies. Republican majorities in the Florida legislature will be forced to make a tough choice between Governor Scott and Speaker Corcoran’s position, or find some way of reconciling the two.
Scott was denied his request for $250 million for Enterprise Florida in last year’s budget, but has come back asking for a much smaller amount. The Governor has proposed an $83.5 billion budget plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017. Among other highlights in the budget include business tax cuts, increased education funding and healthcare spending cuts.
Lawmakers have begun putting their agenda’s forward, as Regular Session of the Florida Legislature convenes on March 7 in Tallahassee.