Today, Governor Rick Scott signed the budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year and vetoed $410 million in legislative projects that do not provide a great return for Florida families. Additionally, Governor Scott vetoed the Florida Educational Finance Program (FEFP) funding portions of the budget. Governor Scott is also vetoing HB 5501 which decreased funding to VISIT FLORIDA by over 60 percent. The Governor’s full budget veto list will be released later today.
Governor Scott is calling a special session to discuss the following measures beginning on June 7, 2017 and ending on June 9, 2017
Funding for Florida’s K-12 students through the FEFP: Governor Scott is calling on the Legislature to provide an additional $215 million to K-12 education than previously authorized. This would increase the per student funding by $100.
Florida Job Growth Grant Fund: Governor Scott is proposing to establish the new Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to promote public infrastructure and individual job training which will encourage more businesses to choose Florida as a destination to grow jobs. Governor Scott is calling on the Florida Legislature to fund it at $85 million.
Increase VISIT FLORIDA Funding: Governor Scott has been focused on funding VISIT FLORIDA at $76 million in order to bring more tourists and support for Florida small businesses. The Governor is calling on the legislature to pass legislation that funds VISIT FLORIDA at a total of $76 million and includes comprehensive transparency and accountability measures at the organization.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s students deserve the very best and we must always do everything possible to provide them with the resources they need to get a great education. It is my goal that a total of $215 million more is allocated to the FEFP which is a $100 per student increase over current year funding during the upcoming legislative session. Our students are the future of our great state and I know Speaker Corcoran is committed to our students, parents and teachers and ensuring Florida offers a world-class education to students at all levels.
“In addition to our common focus on ensuring a world-class education for Florida’s students, Speaker Corcoran understands the importance of ensuring future economic growth for Florida’s economy. Today, I am announcing that I intend to veto HB 5501 relating to Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA. While I believe very strongly in these programs and their ability to help bring more jobs to Florida, there needs to be a new bill relating to these organizations and how they operate.
“During the special session, I am calling on the Florida Legislature to consider new legislation that funds Visit Florida at $76 million. Additionally, I am proposing to establish the new Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to be funded at $85 million to promote public infrastructure and individual job training which will encourage more businesses to choose Florida as a destination to grow jobs. I have fought for jobs since my very first day in office and I do not intend to stop and this new fund will give our state the tools we need to compete with other states and nations for jobs. Like the Legislature, I strongly believe in transparency, accountability and a strong return on investment for any taxpayer dollars used. There needs to be legislation that allows us to market our state for tourism and grow jobs while maintaining these important principals. I look forward to working with the legislature during the upcoming special session to achieve these important goals for Florida families.”
Speaker Richard Corcoran said, “I am proud to stand with Governor Scott as we fight for continued strong job creation, giving every child a competitive and world class education, ensuring Florida competes as a tourist destination, and faithfully stewarding taxpayer dollars — goals that unify us.
“The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund will create both public infrastructure and job training and put taxpayers in the driver’s seat. All Floridians know that Governor Scott is committed to jobs. His willingness to work with us on this new model for economic development demonstrates that commitment and is greatly appreciated in the House. It’s truly a model for the rest of the nation wrestling with ending corporate welfare. In addition, this special session will secure Florida’s place as the premier tourist destination in America while ensuring that VISIT Florida is completely open, accountable and transparent to the taxpayer.
“The people of Florida should be proud today that you can have leaders with competing opinions and still compromise to meet common goals — government in Florida is working and the biggest winners are all Floridians.”