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Incentives Showdown has begun

February 8th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

A House panel in the State Capitol voted ten-to-five to abolish twenty eight state programs that provide economic development incentives. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the legislation sets up a three way show down between the House, The Governor and the Senate.

The list of agencies being abolished by the legislation is long. On Tuesday, the Governor said the drive, lead by House Speaker Richard Corcoran was political.

“what else could it be? asked Scott.

But the Speaker says it not about politics, but about what works and doesn’t

“There is a lot of emotional statements being made, but can we get a fact, a factual example of how picking winners and losers helps the little guy and little gal? And it doesn’t” says Corcoran.

Several lawmakers told us they are not hearing from constituents about the incentives package, But Rep, Kathleen Peters has been getting an earful.

incentive showdown00000006“I’m getting inundated with emails, text messages and phone calls regarding any kind of elimination for Visit Florida.”

State economists told a Senate panel chaired by Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St.Petersburg), the state needs to focus on helping smaller businesses, not big corporations.

“We can do something better with those dollars and I think its really, really focusing where those investments  to be made in the future provide the best ROI for the state” says Brandes.

The Governor continues to say without incentives, jobs will be lost.

In a seven minute interview the Governor used the word jobs more than 30 times.

“This creates jobs. that wants that new job. Better Paying Job. For the best jobs. I want to get the best jobs. Some people are going to lose their job. If you don;t care about people’s jobs. I care about people’s jobs. Help a poor family get a job.What I care about is getting people jobs. We want the best jobs. This is about getting people jobs. Its about jobs, do we want more jobs or less jobs. It is about jobs.”

Scott clearly believes jobs are his legacy and incentives matter. The committee approved killing the incentives package by a 10-5 vote.

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