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Statement By:
Barney Bishop III, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding the Florida Legislature’s Passage of Jobs Bill

April 30, 2010

“On behalf of Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) and our members, I applaud the Florida Legislature for passing the Senate “Jobs” Bill (SB 1752).  With the state’s unemployment lurching past 12 percent, we need to focus on jobs, jobs, and more jobs.  This comprehensive legislation will expand and create tax credit programs, implement new incentive programs and encourage hiring practices that will take individuals off the unemployment rolls.

There are a number of positive impacts associated with the jobs bill.  Not only does it encourage Florida-based manufacturers to invest in machinery and equipment over the next two years, but this legislation also accelerates tax credits for capital-intensive industries in return for adding new, high-paying jobs, including digital media companies and others that represent the new ‘Intellectual Property Economy.’  Additionally, this bill helps address the needs of the space industry in Florida.  For more than three years, keeping space workers employed and maintaining Florida’s position as a leader in space innovation has been a top priority for AIF.  SB 1752 will allocate much-needed funding that will help Space Florida and its partners overcome the budgetary shortfall at Kennedy Space Center and will go a long way to address the dramatic job loss facing the Space Coast as a result of the phase-out of the space shuttle program.

We appreciate that our recommendations from this year’s Jobs Summit were not only considered by Sen. Mike Haridopolos and Rep. Dean Cannon, but that many are included as part of the  jobs bill.  The leadership of these men combined with the efforts of the Senate Select Committee on Florida’s Economy Chairman Sen. Don Gaetz and his Vice-Chairman Sen. Jeremy Ring, have led to creation of a bill that will have an immediate and profound impact on job creation throughout the Sunshine State.

It is apparent the Florida Legislature understands just how important jobs are to Floridians who are worried about keeping their homes and whether or not they will still be getting a paycheck next week.  The Senate jobs bill is what we were promised, and the Legislature delivered.  The hard work of our elected officials is greatly appreciated, and this bill is truly an investment in Florida’s businesses and future.”