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House kills incentives, Senate future uncertain

March 10th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

Despite pleas from Governor Rick Scott to continue funding for economic development incentives, the Florida House voted overwhelmingly to kill the incentives programs today, but  the fight isn’t over yet.

Just 72 hours after Rick Scott implored lawmakers to keep a jobs incentives program,  the House moved to abolish them. Siding with the Governor, Rep. Newt Newton of St. Petersburg argued incentives are the only way to get businesses into blighted communities

“The basic necessities like a grocery store or a restaurant. Those things are non existent in those communities. People will not come their on their own” Newton told members.

Rep. Jay Fant of Jacksonville was one of the few Republicans to buck the Speaker of the House and voted against abolishing the jobs agency.

“I fear killing this program will hurt people” said Fant.

But the overriding sentiment was that businesses shouldn’t need incentives to make money. Representative  Bob Rommel (R-Naples) told colleagues he has started multiple businesses,

“If I can’t make it on my own, I shouldn’t make it” he said.

“87 yeas, 28 nays Mr Speaker.”

After a veto proof vote Governor Rick Scott immediately released a statements saying in part: a vote for these bills was a vote to kill tourism and jobs in Florida.

House Speaker Designate Jose Olive (R-Miami) pushed back.

“Two hundred and fifty thousand new jobs last year were created, and there were no incentive dollars given out.”

Now the focus shifts here to the Senate where so far, there has been little appetite to abolish the jobs incentives.”

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says talks with the Senate are just beginning.

“We’re right on the principle. Doesn’t have life in the Senate is not even remotely in the ball park of truth” says the Speaker.

And Scott is  promising no let up in his near constant campaign to keep the incentives.

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