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State Officials Begin Taking Applications For New Economic Development Program

Nick Evans

There’s $85 million burning a hole in Florida Governor Rick Scott’s pocket and he’s looking for projects to spend it on.  The new Job Growth Grant Fund was part of a last minute budget compromise.

The Department of Economic Opportunity is soliciting applications for projects under the newly created Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.  After spending the regular session torching the economic development efforts of Enterprise Florida, House lawmakers agreed to create the new initiative as part of larger budget deal. 

But the money comes with strings—projects must be public infrastructure or workforce training built to benefit the community rather than a specific business. 

Still, many Democrats criticized the program as a slush fund for the Governor. 

The Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise Florida will review proposals and make recommendations to Governor Scott who will sign off on the successful projects.

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.