1.3 Million Private Sector Jobs Added and Counting

In the four years before Governor Scott took office, Florida had lost more than 800,000 jobs, taxes were increased by more than $2 billion and the economy was in freefall. Running on a promise to Florida families to turn Florida’s economy around, Governor Scott has spent every day focused on growing business and creating jobs in the Sunshine State. Today, Florida’s economic growth strategy has become a model for the nation and thanks to Governor Scott’s focus on creating business-friendly policies, reducing burdensome regulations and cutting taxes, more than 1.3 million private sector jobs have been added since December 2010. This year, Governor Scott is committed to ensuring Florida’s incredible job growth and economic success stretches far into the future.

Securing Florida’s Future Economic Success

Governor Scott fights every day for Florida jobs. Growing up in a family that struggled to make ends meet, the Governor knows how important a job is for a family. That’s why since taking office, Governor Scott has promoted policies that encourage job creation and attract companies to relocate to and expand in Florida. Today, Florida is on track for continued growth and Governor Scott is going to keep fighting every day to secure Florida’s future success.

The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends $85 million in continuation funding for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. This Fund provides grants for approved local initiatives specifically designed to support broad-based economic growth by improving infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and water/wastewater systems. The fund also supports Florida’s growing workforce by providing grants for job training and skills enhancement in targeted growth industries. The Governor’s recommended budget also proposes more than $43 million to continue and maintain the incentives for Florida businesses who are meeting their contractual requirements for creating jobs and making capital investments. This funding is provided for economic development programs including: Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund; Defense Contractor Tax Refund; and Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Refund.
Additionally, the Securing Florida’s Future budget invests more than $143 million for Florida’s economic development public-private partnerships, including a record $100 million in marketing dollars for VISIT FLORIDA, $19.5 million for operations and job creation funding for Space Florida and $23.7 million for the operations of Enterprise Florida.

Governor Scott knows that the state’s economic development public-private partnerships must always ensure every tax dollar is spent in a transparent manner that has a proven return on investment. Last year, Governor Scott worked with the Legislature to pass comprehensive legislation requiring full financial accountability to Florida’s taxpayers, including detailed online disclosure of spending, contracts, financial reports and project performance information.

Securing Florida’s Future with Record-Breaking Tourism

Every year, people from across the world visit Florida to experience all the natural beauty and incredible landscapes that have come to define the Sunshine State. Florida has welcomed more than 600 million visitors since 2011 with the help of VISIT FLORIDA. The organization continues to successfully market Florida to the world as the premier tourism destination and the state’s six-straight record breaking years of visitation have directly coincided with the marketing resources and funding championed by Governor Scott since taking office.

To continue this incredible success, the Securing Florida’s Future budget includes $50 million to increase total funding for VISIT FLORIDA to a record $100 million. During 2016, Florida broke another record thanks to the more than 112 million people who visited the state, an increase of 5.5 percent from 2015. Florida is continuing to set tourism records by welcoming more than 60 million visitors during the first half of 2017- the highest number of visitors of any six months in the state’s history. Visitors to Florida are spending more than $108 billion and generating more than $11 billion in state and local tax revenue a year. In addition, Florida tourism is responsible for nearly 1.4 million jobs that yield more than $50 billion in income for the Floridians employed in this industry. For every dollar invested in VISIT FLORIDA, taxpayers see a return of $3.20. These figures are definitive proof that tourism is not only a massive contributor to Florida’s economy, but essential to the success of businesses throughout Florida that rely on millions of visitors to continue to grow and create more jobs.

Securing Florida’s Future Success in a Global Market

As Florida’s seaports continue a surge of success and growth, the Securing Florida’s Future budget continues investments in exports to global markets. The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends $1 million to continue two highly successful export diversification and expansion programs. These programs help diversify Florida’s economy and increase Florida’s international trade and exports through Target Sector Trade Grants and Export Marketing Plan assistance. These resources are key for Florida to maintain its preeminent position as an economic gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2016, Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 56 percent of total Florida merchandise trade. This amount represents 24 percent of all trade between this region and the United States. Florida’s top five merchandise export destination are all in Latin America and the Caribbean and include Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and the Dominican Republic.

As a follow up to the Governor’s successful Latin American Summit in October 2017, his budget recommends nearly $2 million for the job creating initiatives of the Latin Chamber of Commerce (CAMACOL) and the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund.

During the past Fiscal Year, Enterprise Florida provided 118 target sector trade show grants totaling more than $475,000. Eligible small and medium-sized companies can apply for these grants to help offset costs and enable businesses to participate in Enterprise Florida trade shows and select U.S. certified trade exhibitions in target sectors. Participating in such trade shows allows smaller Florida businesses to make vital contacts abroad and lay the foundation for future trading relationships. Assisting Florida businesses to successfully trade in worldwide markets is key to ensuring Florida’s long term economic prosperity.

Record Funding for Florida Flex (Quick Response Training)

The Securing Florida’s Future budget invests an additional $11 million in Florida Flex for a record total of $20 million to help continue diversifying Florida’s economy. This increase will build on the program’s success by providing businesses, both large and small in targeted industries, with matching funds related to specific training activities for workers who will be moving into new jobs created in Florida.

Securing Florida’s Future Workforce

Governor Scott is committed to making Florida the best state in the nation for workforce development so Florida’s economy can continue to diversify and attract more businesses. Since 2011, Governor Scott has directed investments of nearly $2 billion for communities to ensure the best workers are available to Florida’s job creators.

The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends more than $283 million for Florida’s 24 Regional CareerSource Boards responsible for providing workforce services directly linked to job seekers and businesses. This includes job placement, recruitment assistance and skills training. The Florida workforce system helped place more than 413,000 Floridians in jobs during 2016, including more than 16,800 Florida veterans.

Securing the Future of Florida’s Rural Communities

Governor Scott understands the enormous potential for job growth and economic development within Florida’s rural communities. That’s why he is recommending to double the funding for the Rural Infrastructure Program to $3.2 million, so that additional rural areas in Florida can access the funding needed to be successful in today’s competitive job marketplace.

Securing Great Transportation for Florida’s Future with Record Funding

The Securing Florida’s Future budget invests a record $10.1 billion for the Florida Department of Transportation’s Work Program to ensure that more than 20.7 million residents and more than 112 million visitors are able to move safely and effectively throughout the state. The Securing Florida’s Future budget makes the following transportation investments: $1 billion to expand transportation system capacity, which includes adding 269 new lane miles; $1 billion for maintenance and operation; $616 million for resurfacing more than 1,962 lane miles; $568 million for transit program improvements; $167.7 million for scheduled repairs of 63 bridges and replacement of 18 bridges; $359 million for aviation improvements; $171.6 million in seaport infrastructure improvements; $186.1 million for safety initiatives; and $151.3 million for bike and pedestrian trails.

Investing in Florida’s Transportation Infrastructure

Florida is the fourth fastest growing state in the nation with a population of more than 20.7 million. As the nation’s third largest state, transportation infrastructure continues to be vital to the support of Florida’s growing population and a driver to Florida’s rapidly growing economy.

Florida remains at the leading edge of transportation innovations and has been recognized for inventive funding solutions to enhance capacity of transportation infrastructure. Since 2011, Governor Scott has overseen the investment of $85 billion in funding for roads, bridges, airports and seaports. This includes priority investments in Florida’s seaports exceeding $1.4 billion. Port infrastructure investments support and build on the more than 107 million tons of cargo worth $50 billion, and the 15.5 million cruise passengers that passed through the state’s ports in 2016.

Florida’s proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean remains critical to the state’s major role in the nations’ trade, accounting for 25.3 percent of all U.S. waterborne exports and 19.7 percent of all U.S. waterborne imports to and from this growing region in 2016. Improvements such as completing the deepening of the Port of Miami and planned deepening at JAXPORT are vital to Florida being able to accommodate the large cargo ships traveling through the recently widened Panama Canal. To date, Florida’s ports investments have resulted in an economic value of more than $117 billion - a $15 billion increase since 2012.