Controversy Over FL Business Incentive Fund

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The Florida House is calling for a major overhaul of the state’s business incentive program that is a top priority of Gov. Rick Scott.

The House voted 79-39 for a bill which calls for creation of a large incentive fund that Scott could use to lure new businesses to the state.

Scott wants $250 million for the fund although legislators are still negotiating over the amount.

But the bill was opposed by an unusual coalition of Democrats and conservative Republicans.

The next two GOP legislators in line for House speaker voted against the measure.

Opponents contend the legislation (HB 1325) amounts to “corporate welfare” and will do nothing to help existing businesses in the state.

Rep. Jim Boyd, the Bradenton Republican sponsoring the measure, argued that the bill would help communities by creating jobs.