Rick Scott signs bill loosening regulations on Florida cosmetic manufacturers

Austin Daniel
June 4, 2017

They held fast on Corcoran's refusal to spend millions on corporate welfare masquerading as job incentives through Enterprise Florida.

The House speaker was a key proponent of deep cuts to Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.

Corcoran pushed to abolish Enterprise Florida and eventually settled on eliminating funding for the agency, incensing Scott, who bills himself as the "jobs governor".

In the case of the $854,677 that was slated to go to the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens as part of a partnership with Seminole County to build a teaching facility to serve middle and high schools and colleges, Scott said there was no return from the construction of a facility that isn't owned by the state.

"And frankly they're not doing it as well because they're not getting the same kind of impression and feedback that we are".

The complex deal struck behind closed doors between the governor and top leaders in both houses basically has Scott line-item vetoing about $400 million in projects.

"I don't think we should be spending what NY is spending or California, and I don't think we should be offering $100 million (incentive deals) or whatever people do".

Along with rejecting Scotts request for business-incentive money, the budget would reduce the agencys funding for general operations from $23.5 million in the current year.

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Enterprise Florida leaders said they've heard of such talks for weeks, but remain focused on the spending plan that lawmakers delivered to Scott.

The catch, though, is that all three must also convince Florida lawmakers in a special session next week to vote to maintain the organization's funding level.

With Friday's announcement there is one big budget issue that has yet to be resolved-the fate of the $419 million public schools policy bill (HB 7069).

There's a budget agreement to save Visit Florida's funding but it isn't a done deal yet.

"The money that has been given to school districts is not enough to cover the increases in growth", says Andrea Messina of the Florida School Boards Association.

The Republican governor had been threatening to veto the entire state budget after lawmakers slashed money to Visit Florida and provided only a small amount of money for the state's economic development agency. That money will be used to fund Scott's priorities. And I think everybody wins here.

The state funding reduction is forcing the agency, which can still raise money from private donors, to scale-back its $8.5 million in marketing programs meant to make out-of-state and global business leaders aware of Florida's business attributes.

Lawmakers have yet to complete work to regulate the use of marijuana, which was approved by voters in a constitutional amendment that passed during the November election.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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