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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

House plan would give Gov. Scott control over $426 million economic fund



A pair of bills that create an ecoconomic development fund and fill it with $426 million passed its first committee stop today in the Florida House.

The so-called State Economic Enhancement and Development (SEED) Fund would be housed in Gov. Rick Scott's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development. It would spend money from trust funds dedicated to affordable housing, transportation projects and trade and promotion.

Rep. Gary Aubuchon acknowledged that moving the money from specific funds could jeopardize funding for projects. But those projects could still compete for the cash, he said.

"There is risk involved here, but there is risk involved in the present system," said Aubuchon, R-Fort Myers.

Rep. Dwayne Tayor, D-Daytona Beach, said lawmakers were "robbing" trust funds and removing oversight for the money.

"This is a very dangerous bill. We are treading in dangerous territory," he said.

The two committee bills (PCB SCGR 11-01 creates the fund and PCB SCGR 11-03 allocates the dollars) were approved by the Select Committee on Government Reorganization.



[Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2011 2:45pm]


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