WENDY PARKULO / NEWS TEAM
Although Governor Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran both belong to the Republican Party, they are currently locked in a fierce debate regarding government subsidies to the tourism industry. Governor Scott vehemently opposes the defunding of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida proposed by Corcoran. In Corcoran’s view these subsidies are “corporate welfare” while Scott regards them as highly important for business and job creation. Complicating matters further Corcoran held a private meeting of Republicans at the upscale restaurant, The Edison, just outside of downtown Tallahassee in order to gain more support for his plan. No reporters were permitted to cover the events of the meeting under the reasoning that they would “change the dynamic”. This meeting could be in retaliation of Scott’s recent travels to Jacksonville and Panama City Beach to personally ridicule several of Corcoran’s supporters. Visit Florida CEO pleaded “Don’t pass this bill, or you’ll kill Florida,”
which is certainly an exaggeration. It is interesting to note that there was much less debate over 1.6 billion dollars in cuts made to education several years ago. It is unlikely this debate will quietly dissipate and it will come down to which of these Florida government powerhouses can earn the most votes of their common party.