February 23, 2015 (FSDC PR) — Florida’s 2015 Legislative Session will begin on March 3 and end on May 1 in Tallahassee. The biggest task for elected officials will be to approve a $77 billion spending plan, including millions of dollars for space-related programs. Governor Rick Scott in January revealed his proposed budget, which includes $12.5 million for Space Florida programs.
The Florida Space Development Council (FSDC) has tracked the progress of annual space-focused funding and policy issues in Tallahassee. FSDC is gearing up for the 2015 Session with an updated chart of space-related issues, a chart that is sure to evolve several times over the next two months.
|FSDC 2015 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE SPACE ISSUES|
|ISSUE/BILL||HOUSE STATUS||SENATE STATUS||COMMENTS*|
|Space Florida Ops Budget ($10M)||Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request, with $4M of recurring funding and $6M non-recurring.|
|Space Florida Financing/|
|Provided in 2014 but not included in Gov. Scott’s 2015 request. May be a legislative priority.|
|“TIP” program funded at $15M in 2014 within FDOT budget allocation. Status unclear for 2015.|
|Shuttle Landing Facility Transition ($2.5M)||Proviso earmark of $2.5M in 2014, and intended for two years by sponsoring legislators. Status unclear for 2015.|
|Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1.5M)||Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request. Continued funding for coordination with VISIT Florida to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business.|
|Florida/Israel Joint Aerospace Development ($1M)||Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request. Continued funding of joint aerospace projects with Space Florida and Israel.|
Contractor Tax Refund
|Incentive program requires statutory change to renew application window for companies to qualify for refunds.|
|Quick Response Training|
|Supported in 2014 by Gov. Scott. Status unclear for 2015.|
|Embry-Riddle high school aerospace academies||Signed by Governor in 2014 as a recurring budget item to|
support/expand network of high school aerospace academies.
* Note: Most budget items are subject to the Governor’s line-item veto authority.