Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle cheered Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ proposed budget for record levels of incentive funding for business investments in Florida, as well as funding for VISIT FLORIDA, first responders and workforce training.
“Florida continues to outpace the nation in job growth and provide meaningful opportunities for Floridians to succeed and prosper, while the Governor’s Freedom First Budget champions the state’s economic development vision to bring our state’s economy and workforce to a new level,” Eagle declared in a Thursday statement.
Eagle’s statement arrived even before DeSantis had finished unveiling his proposed $99.7 billion budget, dubbed the “Freedom First Budget.”
Specifically, Eagle touted proposals for $100 million for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which would be a record; $105 million for the Rural Infrastructure Fund, an increase of more than $100 million over the prior year’s funding; $50 million in recurring funds for VISIT FLORIDA; $220 million for a second round of $1,000 relief payments for Florida’s first responders; and $534 million for workforce education programs.
“Through programs such as the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, the Governor is investing in workforce training projects that will continue to provide Floridians with transferable and sustainable workforce skills that will bolster our state’s world-class talent pipeline, while strategically supporting local infrastructure projects that establish the framework for communities to recruit new businesses, job opportunities, and strengthen local economies,” Eagle declared.
Though November jobs reports are not yet out, Eagle touted the most recent figures, noting that since the coronavirus crisis crashed the state’s economy in the spring of 2020, Florida has steadily and strongly marched back toward economic health. October marked 18 consecutive months of job growth and 12 consecutive months of labor force increases. In the October reports, Florida outpaced national averages.
“We look forward to expanding upon our ongoing efforts with partner agencies, including CareerSource Florida, Enterprise Florida, VISIT FLORIDA, Space Florida, the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation, and community stakeholders throughout the state to support Gov. DeSantis’ efforts,” Eagle said.