Budget conference: Space Florida lands $6 million from lawmakers
Florida from space.

The agency predicts industry investment could launch a $1 billion annual impact.

Looks like Space Florida funding has come in for a landing.

The latest offer from the Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Committee budgets $6 million for Space Florida. That matches funding already included in the House budget, docking that funding in the economic development silo in both chambers’ budgets.

The economic development organization works closely with the state and serves as the lead entity driving private investment in the state’s aerospace industry.

This year serves as a bit of a swan song for Frank DiBello, the retiring President and CEO of Space Florida. The organization landed in the Capitol in February to lobby lawmakers on Space Day, and that has apparently paid off in dollars.

The organization in January showed a continued skyward arc on the economic benefits of spaceflight to Florida’s economy. Since Space Florida’s 2007 launch, economists have documented a $5.9 billion economic impact, and predict space companies can generate $1 billion in economic activity annually for Florida within the decade.

“The qualitative and quantifiable economic impacts of Space Florida are significant, and have been steadily increasing over the last 15 years due to Space Florida’s operating and financing projects as well as capital investment by clients,” reads the report from The Washington Economics Group (WEG).

That proved a successful lobbying launch with lawmakers this year. A $6 million investment would be a bargain for a $1 billion economic return.

But of note, both chambers fund Space Florida with non-recurring dollars from the general fund. That means lobbyists will need to make return trips to the Capitol to justify continued investment in the future.

Budget conference subcommittees will meet throughout the week to resolve differences in each area. When remaining issues reach an impasse, they will be “bumped” to the full budget conference committee.

Lawmakers must reach an agreement on a final spending plan by May 2 to meet the 72-hour “cooling off” period required by the state constitution before they can vote on the budget to avoid pushing the Regular Session past its scheduled May 5 end date.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • JD

    April 25, 2023 at 1:49 am

    Mr. Ogles should be commended for his fun and colorful prose in this article.

    This is a good investment within the state. We need infrastructure to match gaining the talent for these industries as well.

    And while I am not attempting to combine separate issues, there is a major blind spot in the abortion and restrictive education laws.

    Those will run counter productive in attracting the talent for these industries. Those laws will have conciquences in the cultivation and attraction of talent and thus will hurt drawing the companies if they cannot get talent.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 25, 2023 at 7:45 am

    Wouldn’t the space program attract college educated types that Ron DeSanties told Elon Musk he would prefer not to have in Fleur D’uh? Space wokes are a-okay but car wokes are nopes? Gov Ron Duh Santies seems to be confused about what wads his panties

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704