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The Florida Senate

HB 1-A — Economic Development

by Rep. Renner (SB 2-A by Senator Latvala)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Commerce and Tourism Committee (CM)

The bill specifies new accountability and transparency measures for VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), including the following:

  • Limits lodging expenses and requires compliance with state travel and per diem laws;
  • Requires officers and board members to file annual conflict of interest disclosures;
  • Subjects proposed contracts of $750,000 or more to a 14-day legislative consultation period prior to approval;
  • Caps salaries and benefits paid from state funds at the salary and benefits authorized to be paid to the Governor;
  • Prohibits performance bonuses or severance pay paid from state funds unless specifically authorized by law;
  • Specifies limitations on the giving and receiving of gifts; 
  • Requires the submission of proposed operating budgets;
  • Requires that contracts, and financial, expenditure, and meeting information be posted on websites; and
  • Requires that entities receiving a majority of their revenues from VISIT FLORIDA, EFI, or from certain taxes, must post and report specified financial information.

The bill amends the one-to-one public/private match requirements for VISIT FLORIDA.

The bill creates the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to award funds for public infrastructure projects, infrastructure funding to accelerate the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike, and workforce training. The bill creates the Targeted Marketing Assistance Program to enhance the tourism business marketing of small, minority, rural, and agritourism businesses in Florida. The bill directs the Department of Revenue to audit the Professional Golf Hall of Fame and requires the Professional Golf Hall of Fame to provide certain information to the state. The bill eliminates the Displaced Homemaker Program and the associated Displaced Homemaker Trust Fund, and reduces the surcharge on marriage license applications by $7.50.

The bill redirects $75 million of revenue from the State Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund to the General Revenue Fund. The bill includes $60 million for 17 higher education facilities. The bill appropriates $85 million for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, and an additional nonrecurring $50 million for projects related to the Herbert Hoover Dike. The bill appropriates $76 million for the Department of Opportunity to enter into contract with VISIT FLORIDA and $16 million for a contract with EFI.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2017.

Vote: Senate 34-1; House 105-4