While Gov. Rick Scott isn’t tipping his hand as to whether he’ll veto the budget passed by lawmakers earlier this month, he appears to be taking his case to the people in the event he does.
A lot of them appear to hearing his message.
The governor was angered by the Legislature’s refusal to fully fund Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency, and Enterprise Florida, the agency that promotes economic development in the state.
The number of people who have called, emailed or sent letters to the governor in support of fully funding the two agencies is running 16-to-one over those who support the budget cuts.
Of the nearly 1,000 people who have contacted the Governor’s Office, all but 57 of them have been in support of Scott’s position on funding to both agencies.
On Monday, Scott traveled to Miami where he released first quarter tourism numbers for the state and warned that budget cuts to Visit Florida could reverse the record growth in the state’s tourism industry.
“The legislature’s decision to cut tourism marketing could lead to a drastic reduction in visitor spending to our local businesses and revenue to our state,” Scott said after the Legislature passed the budget.
He also accuses lawmakers of undermining the state’s economic development efforts by cutting funding to Enterprise Florida.
“Once again, the Florida Legislature has turned their back on Florida’s ability to fund economic incentive deals that help our state outcompete our top competitors for important jobs,” Scott added.
In order to try to restore funding to the agencies, the governor would have to veto the entire budget and call lawmakers back to Tallahassee.
Scott has said all of his options remain on the table.