Florida taxpayers will be the true winners next week as lawmakers return to Tallahassee for a special session on economic incentives and education funding in the state’s budget, says Americans for Prosperity-Florida.
The conservative government watchdog group is applauding Friday’s announcement by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, Senate President Joe Negron, and Gov. Rick Scott that they will be meeting for a Special Session to reconcile the state’s nearly $84 billion budget.
As reported by FloridaPolitics.com, Scott called on the Legislature to provide an additional $215 million to K-12 public education, which would increase per student funding by $100. establish an $85 million “Florida Job growth fund” to promote public infrastructure and individual job training. That $85 million price tag was the same as the request Scott made for Enterprise Florida.
The governor also seeks to pass legislation setting aside $76 million for VISIT Florida — the state’s tourism arm — which includes comprehensive transparency and accountability measures.
AFP-FL has long denounced Florida’s “corporate welfare handouts” through incentive programs such as VISIT Florida and Enterprise Florida.
AFP-FL state director Chris Hudson praised the development in a statement:
“While we wait to see the details in writing, we’re cautiously optimist about the move to establish the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. This new plan will help all jobs creators, not just the well-connected, looking to come to Florida or those investing to expand their homegrown businesses. This is how economic development should have always existed in the state. This is a model for the rest of the country. We are excited that at least for now the war for incentives is over.”
“This is a huge win for taxpayers and a huge win for our organization and the activists that drove the discussion.”
The 2017 Special Legislative Session will be June 7-9.