Finding Funding for Enterprise Florida Inc.

Every year, the Governor releases his budget priorities a few weeks before the beginning of the legislative session. This is seen as a guide for the Legislature to work off of. This year, one of Governor Rick Scott’s three main priorities is a $250 million fund for Enterprise Florida, Inc (EFI). Enterprise Florida is a public-private partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for Florida. EFI provides incentives for large and small businesses to either relocate to, or stay in Florida. EFI also provides information and assistance to small businesses to help them grow and succeed. Governor Scott sees this fund for EFI as a powerful tool to lure companies to Florida. The Florida Senate’s budget proposal included the $250 million for the Enterprise Florida Fund, however the budget proposal passed by the Florida House did not. It is expected that the funds will be allocated during the conferencing process.

Budget In The Works
As we reported yesterday, the Florida Legislature is currently working to create 2016-2017 budget. Appropriation Chairs, Senator Tom Lee and Representative Richard Corcoran have been in talks throughout this week in an attempt to come to agreement on final allocations. The Florida House and Senate have both passed their respective budgets, however there is an almost $1 billion difference between the two. The difference is due to a variance in approach on several key areas including how the chambers fund education, the Governor’s Tax Cut Package, and Economic Development funding. House leadership reported that the appropriations chairs are close to an agreement, and the chambers will begin the Budget Conference process early next week. It is our expectation that we will see final allocation numbers on Monday or Tuesday with the announcement of Joint Senate and House Conferees and the start of Conference Committees as early as Tuesday, but most likely Wednesday.