After the first meeting of 2016 legislative budget conference Friday evening, senior budget writers — in particular House Budget Chairman Rep. Richard Corcoran — told reporters the Legislature had so far more or less ignored two of Gov. Rick Scott‘s top priorities.
Corcoran said their current proposal contained “zero” toward a $250 million dedicated Florida Enterprise Fund for state business recruitment efforts and less than half the amount requested for a massive tax cut package: just $400 million compared to Scott’s $1 billion requests.
Scott’s Communication Director Jackie Schutz responded with this statement on behalf of the governor:
“With the Legislature’s action today, there will no longer be incentive funding for major projects to come to Florida, like Northrop Grumman or Navy Federal Credit Union, and we are beginning the process of notifying cities across the state that there would be no funding available to help them recruit businesses if the Legislature does not take immediate action to reverse course,” said Schutz. “We will continue to monitor the process in the event there are any last-minute adjustments.”
In other words, Scott is accusing legislators of keeping the state’s economic well-being hostage while they deliberate over the budget.
Budget Conferencing is set to continue through the weekend. Issues not settled by conferees will be “bumped up” to Corcoran and Senate budget chief Tom Lee for their consideration by 6 p.m. Monday, barring any extensions.