House looks to cut Job Growth Grant program, Senate keeps level funding

visit florida
The Job Growth Grant Fund would get $75M under the Senate plan, but just $25M in the House version.

Funding for key economic development programs in Florida would mostly stay the same under a budget plan released by the Senate, but a House plan would cut a key grant fund.

The Senate plan, unveiled by the Senate Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee, contains $20 billion, mostly made up of transportation funding which comes in at $15.6 billion, including $14.3 billion for the transportation work program. The House proposal has $15.5 billion for transportation and $14 billion for the work program.

VISIT FLORIDA, the tourism promotion agency, would stay at $80 million under both proposals. But the Job Growth Grant Fund, which allows Gov. Ron DeSantis to give funds for road and employee training projects tied to job creation, would receive $75 million — the same as the current year budget — under the Senate version. The House sets aside just $25 million for the fund.

There’s also $100 million to expand broadband internet access and $175 million for the State Small Business Credit Initiative, both DeSantis requests in his budget proposal, in both chambers’ plans.

One program prized by DeSantis, the law enforcement recruitment program, would receive slightly less than he wants in the Senate proposal. DeSantis asked for $20 million, the same as the current year, to give a $5,000 signing bonus to every law enforcement officer who moved to Florida or joined the force from a different field. The Senate plan sets aside $15 million for it, but the House would keep it at $20 million.

Each chamber has released portions of their preferred spending plans. But the full text of the main budget, known as the General Appropriations Act, won’t be revealed until Friday.

The budget is for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Each chamber is expected to pass the full budget plans out of their respective appropriation committees next week before a floor vote the following week. Then they’ll have until March 8, the last scheduled day of the Regular Session, to hash out the differences between the bills.

Gray Rohrer


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