Press Release

Unanimous Support by Florida Legislature Facilitates Competitive Space Industry in Florida

By SpaceRef Editor
May 6, 2010
Filed under , ,
Unanimous Support by Florida Legislature Facilitates Competitive Space Industry in Florida

2010 Florida Legislative Session Delivers $31 Million+ for Space Industry Growth

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 6, 2010) – Florida’s space industry remained a forefront issue for legislators throughout the 2010 legislative session, which concluded on April 30. Faced with the impending Shuttle retirement (expected to result in 23,000 direct and indirect job losses, contributing to significant economic impact across the state), the legislature voted to unanimously support critical legislation designed to stimulate economic development and promote aerospace industry jobs. Strong leadership and commitment by House and Senate leaders – included incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos and incoming Speaker, Dean Cannon – along with an active Space Caucus mobilized by Representative Rich Workman, were key in getting $31+ million approved to focus on diversifying Florida’s space industry and improving recruitment and expansion efforts of aerospace-related businesses. These investments will drive the creation of high-tech jobs and will be directed in the following manner:

-$11.1 million for infrastructure projects, including:
— $7.5 million for Exploration Park, Phase I
— $3.6 million for Space Launch Complex infrastructure
-$10 million in financing assistance benefiting launch service and payload processing providers
-$3.2 million for workforce development assistance
-$3 million for expanded business development and recruiting activities
-$3.8 million for Space Florida operations

“I am extremely grateful to the Florida legislature for providing bold leadership on this year’s critical space-related bills and investment needs,” stated Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “These investments will help Space Florida fully leverage the resources of the State and drive actions in capturing key space-related target industries. Florida is uniquely positioned to leverage opportunities in NASA’s new direction, the Air Force’s commitment to commercial space activity, and Florida’s drive toward capturing and growing its innovation economy. As we continue to work with our statewide partners, this unified support will help ensure that we meet our goal of expanding the state’s aerospace industry three-fold by 2020.”

Tremendous gratitude goes the many sponsors and co-sponsors of this vital legislation that passed in the 2010 legislative session including:

– SB1752/HB1509 “Jobs for Florida” sponsored by Senator Gaetz & Representative Weatherford
– SB2500/HB1389 “Space Transition And Revitalization (STAR) Act” sponsored by Senator Altman & Representative Crisafulli
– SB1178/HB121 “Cost Benefit Analysis” sponsored by Senator Haridopolos and Representatives Poppell, Crisafulli, & Hudson
– SB1776/HB969 “Proviso Flexibility” sponsored by Senator Altman & Representative Crisafulli, will take effect immediately upon Governor Crist’s signature.

Bills passed this session will enable Florida to face global markets with highly competitive commercial spaceports that offer cost-effective, timely access to space.

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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.