January 31, 2013
TALLAHASSEE – Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) President and CEO Tom Feeney praised the 2013 budget recommendations unveiled today by Gov. Rick Scott. The budget package includes incentives that will bolster key Florida industries, including manufacturing, defense, and transportation and ports.
“Gov. Scott’s budget proposal is all about growth – it plants the seeds of opportunity that will enable Florida businesses to grow and flourish, particularly industries critical to Florida’s future such as manufacturing” said Tom Feeney, AIF President and CEO.
As the Florida affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, AIF was particularly encouraged by the Governor’s recommendation to eliminate sales tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment.
“Shedding additional tax burdens will enable Florida manufacturers to be more competitive, and put more money into business expansion and high-wage job creation. Manufacturing is making a rebound and, in Florida, this industry has unparalleled job creation potential given its impressive history of creating three indirect jobs for every direct job,” added Feeney.
AIF has long advocated for important infrastructure and transportation investments that are not only necessary for existing business to thrive, but to also to recruit new business to Florida. In order for businesses to be successful, they need a comprehensive intermodal transportation system. This includes not only highways, but also deepwater and inland ports and rail.
“Strategic infrastructure investments, from road building projects to improvements of our ports, not only create an immediate influx of new jobs, they also make the state a more attractive location for new businesses. Gov. Scott’s proposal to invest substantially in infrastructure surrounding our ports will draw more manufacturing business to Florida,” said Feeney.
Feeney also lauded the Governor’s proposal to facilitate the purchase of wetlands surrounding Florida military bases, which will make it easier for companies in the defense industry to maintain and expand jobs and positive economic benefits in the Sunshine State.
“AIF looks forward to working with Gov. Scott and the Florida Legislature this session to realize the vision of making Florida the world’s premier business destination,” said Feeney.
The Voice of Florida Business, AIF represents more than 10,000 employers across the state.
Known as “The Voice of Florida Business,” Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has advocated for the principles of prosperity and free enterprise since 1920. Representing more than 10,000 businesses across the state, AIF is one of Florida’s most powerful and successful government affairs and business lobbying groups.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE
Tallahassee, Fla. –Governor Rick Scott today unveiled his Florida Families First Budget for fiscal year 2013-2014. Governor Scott’s Florida Families First Budget includes $18.47 billion in total funding for K-12 education, an increase of $1.25 billion over last year’s budget, which also invested 1 billion in K-12 education. Governor Scott’s proposed budget also supports the elimination of tax barriers on manufacturers who buy equipment, which will help build up Florida’s manufacturing sector and create more jobs.
Governor Scott said, “My message is simple – everything we do in government must be focused on helping families pursue their dreams by getting a great job and accessing a quality education.
“Over the last two years, we made the tough choices to get our economy back on track. Through cost-savings efforts, we were able to cut taxes and eliminate regulations on businesses to help them succeed and create more jobs. As a result of our work over the last two years, we have created an environment where Florida’s private sector was able to create thousands of jobs. We have also had the second largest drop in our unemployment rate in the nation. The Sunshine State is now among the best states in the country for our drop in our unemployment rate. Florida’s economy is back on track.
“My Florida Families First 2013-2014 Recommended Budget includes an increase of $1.25 billion, or 7.3 percent, for K-12 public schools. This increase represents per student funding of $6,800, an increase of more than $400, or around 6.5 percent, over the current fiscal year. State funding for K-12 education totals $10.7 billion - the highest state funding level in history. Included in this historic total is $480 million to support $2,500 pay raises for Florida’s K-12 classroom teachers, plus the cost of associated benefits.
“Additionally, my budget focuses on building up our state’s manufacturing sector by eliminating the sales tax on manufacturers who buy equipment.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished already in the areas of jobs and education, but there is more work left to do. As long as even one Florida family is still struggling to find work or access a great education, our work is not done. This year, we will build on our successes through targeted investments that put Florida Families First.”
The Florida Families First Budget highlights are available HERE.
The Florida Families First Budget FAQ is available HERE.
The Florida Families First Budget prepared remarks by Governor Scott are available HERE.
The full The Florida Families First Budget is available HERE