Press Release

Florida Legislature Delivers $43+ Million for Space Industry

By SpaceRef Editor
May 9, 2011
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Florida Legislature Delivers $43+ Million for Space Industry

Tallahassee, FL (May 9, 2011) – Aerospace-related economic development played a significant role in the 2011 Florida Legislative Session, with more than $43 million being committed for growth of the industry in the coming year. Governor Rick Scott laid out an aggressive plan, not only for Florida’s overall economy, but for Florida’s space industry in particular, and that plan was formalized by the Legislature.

“We are extremely grateful for the leadership exemplified by Florida’s Governor and legislators during this year’s session,” noted Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “It is clear that space-related economic development is a real priority. This is the next step in arming Space Florida with tools to help ensure that we can achieve an aggressive mission of tripling the size of Florida’s aerospace industry by 2020.”

The Florida Legislature, led by Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R-Melbourne) and Speaker of the House Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park), appropriated approximately $10 million to Space Florida. This was done for the purposes of recruiting new business, expanding existing business, and creating jobs during this critical time in Florida.

Space Florida worked with the Legislature and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to secure $16 million in infrastructure funding for launch support facilities. This $16 million comes from the State Transportation Trust Fund and is to be used to improve launch complex and additional spaceport infrastructure at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral.

The Space Business Incentives Act (HB873), sponsored by Senator Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) and Representative Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island), was also passed by the Legislature, as part of HB143, during the 2011 session. This bill includes $10 million in space business tax credits both to enable the state to attract new and expand exiting space-related businesses. Specifically, the bill includes corporate income tax credits and transferrable net operating loss tax credits.

Also passed during the 2011 session were Research and Development tax credits. SB942, sponsored by Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-Ft. Lauderdale) and Representative Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne), included $7.1 million in tax credits for research and development work done in Florida. These tax credits are critical as Space Florida works to diversify the state’s space industry and become known as the R&D ground node for the International Space Station.

Additionally, Senator David Simmons (R-Orlando) and Representative Tom Goodson (R-Titusville) sponsored SB652, “Spaceflight Informed Consent,” which was passed by the Legislature in support of Florida’s space industry and exempts launch companies from the liability associated with the inherent risk of spaceflight. The bill includes provisions for the manufacture and supply of components, services, or vehicles that have been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill also removes the 2018 Sunset provision, which was included in when the original law was passed in 2008. # # # About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed.

SpaceRef staff editor.