Multiple funding items and policy measures were passed in 2014 that bring energy to the Tampa Bay region. Notably, the IMG Academy was pegged for $5 million; the Florida Aquarium for $3.65 million; and the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority the potential for ungodly amounts through SB 218, which adds the ability for the authority to build and operate managed lanes and other transit supporting facilities.
The Florida Aquarium project is also a big deal, going beyond mere cash flow. It will provide funding for cultural facilities and cultural support grant applications, as well as funding for partnership projects with TECO and the Fish & Wildlife Commission in the Apollo Beach area.
Tampa Bay’s gains in no small part came through the tireless efforts of Corcoran & Johnston lobby team — Michael and Jessica Corcoran, Jeff Johnston, Matthew Blair, Michael Cantens, and Amanda Stewart. Their Tampa-based firm solely represents the Florida Aquarium, IMG, the Tamp and Hillsborough Expressway Authority.
Between these projects, the potential for state stadium funding, and the impressive leadership of Bay Area lawmakers, these communities are one of the 2014 Session’s biggest winners.