Florida governor seeks passage of port bills
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist called on the Florida state legislature to pass two bills that he said would boost Florida ports.
Crist said he was joining with state Sen. Jeremy Ring and Rep. Lake Ray to promote two proposals:
' House Bill 963, which he said would help Florida more effectively compete with other states vying to attract port-related businesses.
' House Bill 1169, which he said would generate investments in new and expanding port projects through insurance premium credits.
Crist said HB963 provides flexibility to the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council (FSTED) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to ensure seaport development dollars appropriated by the .egislature are allocated to economic development projects that create jobs and revenue. The bill also requires FSTED to submit a list of production-ready projects within the next five years to FDOT for consideration to be included in FDOT's annual legislative budget request.
HB1169, the Florida Ports Investment Act, would increase the state's port infrastructure by providing an incentive for insurance companies to invest in port activities in Florida, which will generate investments in new and expanding port projects, he said. The legislation provides insurance premium tax credits in exchange for cash invested by insurance companies. The goal is to create a $500 million investment pool that can be invested in on-port and off-port projects.
Both bills would be effective July 1.