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Scott Parcels Out 'Job Growth' Money

Senator Rick Scott
Office of Senator Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott distributed $29.5 million from the state’s Job Growth Grant Fund to projects in Pasco, Orange, Escambia and Gadsden counties. The money comes from an $85 million pool set aside by the Legislature this year for regional infrastructure projects.

The largest chunk of the new distributions, $16 million, went to Orange County to expand Kirkman Road to six lanes to help a corridor that feeds the Orange County Convention Center and other major destinations.

Also, $10 million went to an expansion project at Pensacola International Airport, including additional taxiways and ramps and completing work on hangars. Another $3.09 million went to Pasco County for creation of Overpass Business Park, a 100-acre economic development site along Interstate 75.

The remaining $357,328 went to Gadsden Technical Institute to develop a diesel-system technician training program. Scott has distributed about 70 percent of this year’s money from the Job Growth Grant Fund, which was originally created in 2017 as a compromise over economic-development spending.

About $27 million remains in the fund which would be the responsibility of Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis if Scott does not allocate it before leaving office Jan. 8. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has received more than 100 proposals that requested a combined total of more than $610 million.