Governor Scott Signs Senate Bill 634 / Bill Boosts Florida’s Space Industry

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, listens as Robert Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director, details plans to assemble and process the Orion spacecraft in the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy. Behind them, an Orion test article stands in the high bay. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, listens as Robert Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director, details plans to assemble and process the Orion spacecraft in the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy. Behind them, an Orion test article stands in the high bay. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (February 16, 2012) – Today, Governor Rick Scott gave Florida’s space industry a boost by signing Senate Bill 634 – a Space Florida legislative priority for 2012 that increases funding eligibility for space-related projects. Governor Scott was joined by bill sponsors Senator Benacquisto and Representative Workman, as well as Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll for the bill signing in the Governor’s office in Tallahassee.
“With more than 2,000 aviation and aerospace companies employing more than 83,000 workers in Florida, there’s no denying how important the space industry is to our economy,” said Governor Scott. “This bill is important to Florida’s space industry and I applaud the bill sponsors and Space Florida for making it a priority.”
The bill clarifies language in state statute to better define launch support facilities that are eligible for infrastructure funding from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and may increase federal funding opportunities by aligning state and federal definitions.
As a result of this bill, FDOT infrastructure funds can be utilized on a broader spectrum of applicable space projects included in Space Florida’s spaceport master plan.
“As Chair of Space Florida it gave me great pride to join bill sponsors Senator Benacquisto and Representative Workman today as Governor Scott signed this Space Florida priority into law. This furthers our efforts to bring more high-quality, high-wage jobs to Florida in the areas of science and technology and will help Florida expand our world-class space infrastructure,” said Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll.
“In the past, it has been unclear how to align space-related funding requests under traditional definitions of FDOT-appropriate projects,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “This bill clearly defines the areas that may be considered for State-level funding and as a result, more space-related projects have a likelihood of getting the critical support they need to progress.”
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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. www.spaceflorida.gov

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