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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott's economic incentive funding still uncertain



The Florida House is inching closer to passing legislation to reform how the state hands out economic incentives to businesses to create jobs, but they still are not ready to commit to a dollar amount for the program, which has been one of Gov. Rick Scott's top priorities.

"That's a conversation for another day," State Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, told House members when pressed about whether the House was going to give Scott the $250 million he has requested for the job incentive program.

There are 17 days remaining in the Legislature's annual regular session, and how much ultimately is set asside for the program is a key sticking point going into the final weeks of the session.

Scott has run television ads and held a statewide bus tour to promote the incentive package he says the state needs to draw more companies to move to Florida and diversify the state's economy.

The Senate has proposed giving Scott the $250 million, but has made a large portion of that money contingent upon the state getting its share of settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The House has taken a different approach, first passing legislation with a series of reforms to assure better oversight of the program. The House measures include one that would require job incentive deals over $2 million to go to the Florida House Speaker and Senate President for their approval before a deal could be struck. 

The House bill, without the funding amount, is expected to be back before the full House for a vote on Wednesday. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 12:36pm]


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