2017 Florida Legislative Session ends: Here’s what it means for economic development.

June 19, 2017

The tumultuous 2017 legislative session has finally come to an end, and the bottom line for economic development is that the toolkit on which the EDC and its partners rely to recruit, retain, and expand companies has been preserved.

In short, Florida remains open for business.

Critical performance-based incentives such as Qualified Target Industry (QTI) and the Quick Response Training (QRT) program have been funded. Enterprise Florida will continue operating, albeit with a smaller staff, reduced budget and more oversight. Enterprise Florida has been and will remain a valuable partner in recruiting more companies and high-wage jobs to our region, as well as assisting us in retaining and expanding local businesses.

VISIT FLORIDA also came under fire this session and threats were made to abolish it. In the end, full funding for the state’s tourism marketing agency was preserved – to the great relief of small businesses and workers whose livelihoods depend on a steady supply of visitors to the state.

What’s new? The $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. This fund, specified for the Department of Economic Opportunity, is to be used at the Governor’s discretion for job training and infrastructure projects. Details on this new fund are not yet available.