Visit Florida Faces House Challenges


FROM TAMPABAY.COM

ORLANDO, FL — As Florida Gov. Rick Scott sharpens his criticism of the Legislature over tourism marketing spending and job incentive programs, the Florida House has retaliated by proposing a bill that would completely eliminate whole agencies charged with carrying out Scott's biggest priorities.

After Scott chastised legislators for threatening to pull back funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, the House leadership has rolled out a bill set for its first hearing on February 8th that would kill both agencies.

The bill comes to light as Scott made some of his strongest comments yet about how the Legislature's actions have cost the state jobs with some of the biggest corporations in America.

Scott asked the Legislature for $85 million in extra funding for Enterprise Florida — the state's quasi Department of Commerce — to offer incentives for companies to move to Florida. The Legislature refused to give the governor anything last year when he asked for $250 million.

Scott also asked for $76 million to continue to support Visit Florida, which markets Florida nationally and internationally to tourists. But the House has threatened to cut that budget because of questionable spending on marketing deals that included a British soccer team, pop music star Pitbull and a racing car team.