Three days from the prospect of losing funding for his two favorite economic development organizations and his big environmental project, Gov. Rick Scott plans to spend those three days touring Florida to get people to pressure for their salvation.

Scott announced Tuesday his “Fighting for Florida’s Future” campaign, taking him on a whirlwind tour of home cities of lawmakers who might feel pressure to support full funding for Enterprise Florida and VISIT Florida.

And now, with the Legislature hammering out the final details of a budget that dismisses some of Scott’s priorities, the governor is adding a third priority to his tour’s message: $200 million to help fix the Herbert Hoover Dike at Lake Okeechobee.

“There are still a few days left of the Regular Session which means that there is still time for the politicians to do the right thing and fund priorities to protect our environment and keep our economy growing,” Scott stated in a news release issued by his office.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Scott plans stops in Tampa, Orlando, Palm Beach, Miami, Pensacola, Panama City, Naples, Sarasota, Jacksonville, and the Space Coast.

Exact times, dates and locations have not yet been announced.

In purpose the new tour is not unlike the Florida tour the governor has taken over the past two months as he’s tried to counter the Legislature’s efforts to eliminate Enterprise Florida and significantly cut back VISIT Florida, which key leaders such as Speaker Richard Corcoran have targeted as bloated, out of control and not effective enough after years of limited oversight.

Except for this time, it’s a last-ditch dash. And Scott added Herbert Hoover Dam repair funding.

“The 60 day legislative session is wrapping up this week, and I have been fighting the politicians in Tallahassee for three things to help Florida families — funding for tourism marketing so we can continue to bring record visitors to Florida; funding for proven economic development programs so we can continue to diversify our economy and bring more jobs to Florida; and $200 million to help fix the Dike at Lake Okeechobee so we can protect our environment for future generations,” Scott stated in the release.

“All three of these issues are tied to jobs, but unfortunately the politicians in Tallahassee still haven’t committed to funding these important priorities.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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