Florida Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the part of Florida's budget
that decreased Visit Florida’s funding by 67%, and has proposed increasing the
tourism-marketing group's budget to $76 million.
Scott will meet this week with Florida legislators during a
special session he called to discuss that and other changes to the budget, from
which he vetoed $410 million.
"There needs to be legislation that allows us to market
our state for tourism and grow jobs while maintaining these important
principles. I look forward to working with the legislature during the upcoming
special session to achieve these important goals for Florida families," Scott
said in a statement in which he asked for $76 million for Visit Florida, down
from the $100 million he’d asked for before the budget passed Florida’s Senate
In early May, the Florida legislature passed an $82 billion
budget allotting $25 million to Visit Florida, despite Scotts's aggressive
campaign in support of the state's marketing arm. The organization came under
fire last year following the revelation last year that it had paid rapper
Pitbull $1 million to promote the state, leading to the resignation of Visit
Florida's CEO in January.
"This special session will secure Florida’s place as the
premier tourist destination in America while ensuring that Visit Florida is
completely open, accountable and transparent to the taxpayer," Scott said.
The special session is scheduled to start Wednesday and end