The letter comes after Fine and eight other Republicans on the House Careers and Competition Committee voted for a bill that would dismantle Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development arm, and Visit Florida, the agency responsible for promoting tourism in the Sunshine state.
Since then, Scott has made stops in the districts of lawmakers who voted for the bill to publicly call them out for not killing the bill in its infancy.
Fine, however, said he wouldn’t bite after Scott sent him an invite to a “hurriedly-arranged event” in Brevard County.
“Based on media reports I have read, I assume you are visiting to make your case for Enterprise Florida, Visit Florida and incentive programs,” Fine said in the letter. “I appreciate you recognizing how important my part of the state is to the Florida Economy. That said, while I won’t be able to be there and meet with you in person due to being in committee meetings in Tallahassee, I would welcome an invitation to meet one-on-one to discuss your position on economic development.”
Fine went on to say economic development “is not a concept to me, it’s something I’ve spent my career doing.”
The Brevard County businessman also pushed his own legislation, HB 17, which would pre-empt local regulations on businesses, a move Fine said would allow “businesses to grow, thrive and prosper.”
Funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida has been high on Scott’s priority list throughout his tenure as governor, and in the lead up to each Legislative Session, he routinely asks lawmakers to approve large budgets for each.
Last year, Scott asked for $250 million in incentives money as part of his proposed “Florida Enterprise Fund,” but lawmakers only approved $23.5 million for Enterprise Florida. This year, the governor has asked lawmakers for $85 million in incentives money.