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Rick Scott spending plan sets DEO budget at nearly $1.3B

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Gov. Rick Scott is recommending a $163 million increase in funding for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in his proposed 2017-18 budget.

LobbyTools reports that the boost will bring the DEO budget to nearly $1.27 billion. Scott announced his budget proposal Tuesday morning at a Tallahassee news conference.

Scott’s ask includes $85 million in economic incentives – a contentious issue with some lawmakers.

Last year, Scott made a similar request, asking for $250 million for the “Florida Enterprise Fund;” which lawmakers rejected for 2016-17.

Florida’s public-private partnership programs would get about the same amount as it did in previous years; Scott wants $76 million for Visit Florida. $23.5 million for Enterprise Florida and $19.5 million for Space Florida.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a longtime critic of incentive funding – which he calls “corporate welfare” – has suggested his chamber will consider all the governor’s requests.

Scott’s budget will also give DEO $300 million from settlement money for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. LobbyTools notes that the House has so far resisted using BP Oil Spill money for economic development.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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