Fighting for Florida Jobs
Governor Scott ran on a mission to turn Florida’s economy around and while Florida has added more than 1.2 million jobs in just six years, he will keep fighting for jobs until his last day in office.
Supporting Job Growth in Florida Governor Scott knows that when businesses succeed, jobs are created and generations of Floridians benefit from being able to provide for their families. That is why the Governor is continuing his hard work to secure a bright future for Florida by diversifying the economy and supporting business through low taxes and a smart regulatory structure. Today, Florida is well positioned for continued growth which helps Florida’s poorest families by providing even more opportunities to get a great job. However, there is still more to be done to ensure that future generations of Floridians live in a state that provides boundless opportunities for success.
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends $85 million for economic incentives for the sole purpose of bringing more jobs to Florida. This essential funding is provided for economic development incentives such as the Quick Action Closing Fund, the Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund, Defense Contractor Tax Refund and Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Refund. A key component of this funding is the flexibility to react quickly to economic opportunities, which will enhance business retention and job creation.
Additionally, the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget invests approximately $119 million for Florida’s economic development public -private partnerships, including $76 million in marketing dollars for VISIT Florida, $19.5 million for operations and job creation funding for Space Florida and $23.5 million for the operations of Enterprise Florida.
Governor Scott also knows that the state’s economic development public-private partnerships must do everything they can to make sure every tax dollar under their purview is spent wisely and with full transparency. The Governor has already requested these organizations to increase their level of financial disclosure similar to what is required of Florida’s state agencies. Governor Scott will also work with the Legislature this year to pass comprehensive legislation that will require full financial accountability to Florida’s taxpayers, including detailed online disclosure of spending, contracts, financial reports, and project performance information.
Fighting for Florida Tourism Visitors come to Florida year-round to enjoy the pristine environment, world class beaches and the state’s many recreational and cultural treasures. Florida has welcomed more than 478 million tourists since 2011 with the help of VISIT Florida. The organization has successfully marketed the state to the world as a premier tourism destination and Florida’s prolific increase in tourists has directly coincided with the additional marketing resources championed by Governor Scott since taking office. The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget includes $26 million to maintain total funding for VISIT Florida at $76 million, which will build on its success in attracting more tourists to the Sunshine State. For every dollar invested in VISIT Florida, taxpayers saw a return of $3.20. During 2015, more than 106.6 million visitors came to Florida, an increase of 7.9 percent over 2014. These visitors spent more than $108 billion while enjoying Florida, up 3.9 percent over 2014 and generated $11.3 billion in tourism related state and local tax revenue, up 7.6 percent over 2014. This is reflected in 2015 estimates of nearly 1.4 million jobs and more than $50 billion in payroll related to tourism. 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 visitors to continue growing and creating more jobs.
Fighting to Increase Trade With the continued expansion of Florida seaports, the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget continues to invest in exports to global markets. The Fighting for 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. Providing these resources is key for Florida to maintain its preeminent position as an economic gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2015, Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 57 percent of total Florida merchandise trade. This amount represents more than 25 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.
In 2016, Enterprise Florida provided 128 target sector trade show grants. 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. Being able to participate 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.
Florida Flex (Quick Response Training) The Fighting for 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.
Investing in 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 more than $1.6 billion for communities to ensure the best workers are available to Florida’s job creators.
The Fighting for 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.
Fighting for Great Transportation for Florida’s Future To continue fighting for great transportation in Florida, the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget invests $10.1 billion for the Florida Department of Transportation’s Work Program to ensure that more than 20.7 million residents and 106.6 million visitors are able to move safely and effectively throughout the state. The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget makes the following transportation investments:$4.1 billion to expand transportation system capacity, which includes adding 206 new lane miles; $978.2 million for maintenance and operation; $658.6 million for resurfacing more than 2,142 lane miles; $618 million for transit program improvements; $300.8 million for scheduled repairs of 61 bridges and replacement of 16 bridges; $257.8 million for aviation improvements; $178.2 million in seaport infrastructure improvements; $175.6 million for safety initiatives; and $82.7 million for bike and pedestrian trails.
Investing in Florida’s Future 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 more than $63 billion in funding for roads, bridges, airports and seaports. This includes priority investments in Florida’s seaports exceeding $1.2 billion. Port infrastructure investments support and build on the 103 million tons of cargo worth $49.8 billion, and the 15.2 million cruise passengers that passed through the state’s ports in 2015.
Florida’s proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean remains critical to the state’s major role in the nations’ trade, accounting for 25.2 percent of all U.S. waterborne exports and 19.1 percent of all U.S. waterborne imports to and from this growing region in 2015. 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.