Lawmakers during this spring's regular session set aside $25 million for tourism-marketer Visit Florida and now propose to increase that amount to $76 million. Infrastructure and a skilled workforce are critical components for attracting new business and expanding jobs in Florida..
But differences remain in the House and Senate approaches to the issues.
Gov. Rick Scott has touted the deal as one in which "everybody wins".
Negron made the announcement Tuesday on the eve of a three-day special session. "I'm sure they're watching on TV", he said. We have to fully fund that, so I'm hopeful that will happen.
"To pretend this newest backroom deal will help public education in our state is laughable", the Tampa Democrat said.
When the bill implementing the amendment fell apart late in session, the Senate wanted to limit each treatment center to 15 locations; the House wanted no caps and no sales tax.
"This allows us to pursue 120 million tourists", Lawson told the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.
Scott and Corcoran feuded over the value of economic incentives throughout the session.
"We look at every line to see whether it's good for Florida families", Scott said. "For example, Scott vetoed $3 million for an arts program at Polk State College, a project that's important to former Senate Appropriations Chairman JD Alexander, who maintains close ties with a number of senators and has been making phone calls to express his dismay (There is not an identifiable statewide impact", Scott said in his veto message of June 2). Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, said.
The House Appropriations Committee approved its proposal, preparing it to go to the full House.
Specifically, the bill creates the Florida Jobs Growth Grant Program as a tool for the governor to support and strengthen the fundamental characteristics of a sound and robust economy, it said.
That's about the only bright spot to be gleaned from the rubber-stamp of a legislative special session that's slated to begin today and end on Friday.
That extra per-student funding translates to a $215 million dollar increase in public school funding. The organization came under fire last year following the revelation last year that it had paid rapper Pitbull $1 million to promote the state, leading to the resignation of Visit Florida's CEO in January.
Both bills would require Visit Florida contracts valued at $500,000 to be posted online.
Finally, the Senate will insist that a revised K-12 budget must be available for review for 72 hours before a vote (the House disagrees with that position).
But it's not clear how smooth the session will go.
Latvala said the state can draw better interest rates with the move.