The 2017 republican controlled Florida legislature voted against every proposed legislation that would have increased Florida tourism and high paying jobs.
The 60-day legislative session of the Florida legislature is now finished, and as predicted by this newspaper several weeks ago, the 60-day session finished without budgeting any funds to attract more tourist and high paying industries to this state.
The Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representative were not able to arrive at any agreement supporting funding of programs requested by Governor Scott, to increase tourism and attract industries to Florida which offer well-paying jobs, and not just minimum wages.
The Florida Legislature reduced funds to attract tourism from the requested 76 million to 25 million. It abolished completely existing fund supporting the governor’s efforts to bring in high paying industries to Florida. As other states, such as New York, advertise nationally to attract large industries, Florida, led by House Speaker Corcoran, stopped all such funding calling it “corporate welfare”.
Speaker Corcoran, representing a non-tourist part of Florida, appeared to be more interested in his political future than representing the best interest of the State of Florida.
The speaker also stopped any expansion of gambling in Florida so that some tourist and visitors will continue to spend their money in casinos in other states and places such as the Bahamas, instead of Florida. The amount of increase in taxes such expansion would create, would reduce the burden on Florida homeowners (including Canadian homeowners) whose taxes are increasing because of the recovering Florida economy.
Canadians pay much higher taxes on their properties than Florida residents, since they cannot qualify for homestead exemptions. Canadians also are not a drain on local services, such as for schools, police and fire protection and the cost of the court system. They are not on welfare and are self-supporting. They should be allowed certain exemptions to lower their increasing real property taxes. This is especially true with the Canadian dollar losing its value.
It is also clear that this present Florida Legislature did not follow the wishes of Florida residents, when it refused to pass legislation to put into effect the right of Floridians to obtain marijuana for medical purposes. The voters of Florida had already approved the use of medical marijuana by a large majority, but the Legislature appears to feel that they can ignore the wishes of the voters of Florida.
The Republican House Speaker is Richard Corcoran, from Lutz, Florida, an area in the central part of Florida, which certainly does not attract Canadian or other tourist during the winter season. As long as we have politicians like Corcoran, in control of our Florida Legislature, Florida tourist promotion will not receive any help from the Legislature.