Save VISIT FLORIDA and Public Policy Council Update

Posted On 04/25/2019 by Matt Lettelleir


Visitors to Florida save residents over $1,500 per year in taxes through their spending in our state. VISIT FLORIDA is the chief marketing agency and some State Legislators want to only fund operations through October. This means VISIT FLORIDA will sunset by the end of this year unless action is taken.

This is a main priority for the St. Petersburg Chamber and we need your help to convince our lawmakers to fund VISIT FLORIDA going forward.


Click HERE to send a letter to members of the House/Senate Budget Conference to urge them to fully fund VISIT FLORIDA as well as Florida’s economic development arm, Enterprise Florida.

Public Policy Council Update

On Tuesday, April 23rd, the Chamber’s Public Policy Council held it’s monthly meeting. SPCA Tampa Bay’s Martha Boden chaired the meeting where members received updates on policies the Chamber is tracking, as well as learned about a potential Immigration Compact for the State of Florida.

Immigration Compact

The Downtown Partnership’s Jason Mathis gave a brief presentation on immigration compacts and then opened the floor for discussion. Members voted to support the creation of an ad hoc task force to study how the Chamber should approach the issue. You can learn more information about the proposed compacthere.

Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition

Sustainability Committee Chair Anne Pollack, from Fletcher and Fischer, presented a motion asking the Chamber to participate in the Coalition and provide input from the business community. The Council voted to support the motion and send it to the Chamber’s Board of Governors for approval.

Legislative Priorities

As was mentioned above, VISIT FLORIDA is in danger of being eliminated by the end of the year. If you have not done so already, please click here to contact the legislators managing budget negotiations and show your support for VISIT FLORIDA.

Florida’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund is still at risk of other projects taking priority, but not at the levels demonstrated in recent years.

TBARTA is expected to be fully funded.

Community Redevelopment Areas could see some new restrictions and reporting requirements. The Chamber is working with delegation members to clarify language.

The arts are expected to be funded but at lower levels than hoped for. The St. Pete Arts Alliance, St. Petersburg Museum of History, and the Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum are still slated to receive funding.

Storefront Conservation Corridors

Mayor Rick Kriseman’s Storefront Conservation Corridor initiative was approved by the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday, April 18th. The ordinance will limit the number of large and medium storefronts along Central Ave and Beach Drive. Incentives for small businesses along the corridors, including a reduction in parking requirements, passed City Council in March.

Central Avenue BRT

The catalyst for improved transportation in Tampa Bay, the Central Avenue BRT, is receiving some push-back. The Chamber fully supports PSTA and the City’s commitment to bringing this important project to fruition in 2020.

For a full legislative update, post the 2019 Florida Legislative Session, join us at the Chamber’s Legislative Recap on Wednesday, May 15th. Details and registration are available here.

Category: Advocacy, Featured