Gov. Rick Scott Signs Bill To Add New $85M Job Growth Program

A bill affecting Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida now has become law.

The Economic Development bill, signed by Gov. Rick Scott on June 26, will add a new $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund focused on public infrastructure and individual job training and make Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida's funding more transparent.

"This important legislation also fully funds a more accountable and transparent Visit Florida," Scott said in a prepared statement. "With this legislation, we can promote public infrastructure projects and job training projects to continue to grow jobs for families in every community of our state. We know that for Florida to be competitive in domestic and international markets, we need as many tools as possible to attract growing businesses to our state. The $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is what Florida needs to bring major jobs wins home."

Enterprise Florida has been a longtime tool for the state to attract outside corporations and has been credited with helping create 1.26 million jobs since 2010 throughout the state while Visit Florida has helped support the 1.4 million jobs the tourism industry, Orlando Business Journal previously reported.

The state’s tourism bureau also will be fully funded with $76 million.

Ken Lawson, president and CEO of Visit Florida, previously told OBJ how the bill unnecessarily grows government regulation. "This bill jeopardizes the record-breaking success of Florida’s tourism industry and the 1.4 million jobs the industry supports. We have already made significant progress towards transparency by placing contracts and staff salaries online and conducting a thorough audit of all agreements to ensure that there will be no more secret deals at Visit Florida and that we get the best return on investment for Florida’s taxpayers."

Scott also signed into law 28 other bills ranging from increasing registration requirements for sexual predators and offenders to expanding scholarship programs.

Another bill having significant impact that was signed is House Bill 3A, titled the Florida Education Finance Program, which increases funding by $100 per student, for a total of $20.6 billion for K-12 public schools included in the Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget, the Naples Herald reported.

Source: Orlando Sentinel