Senate Backs off Cuts in Space Florida’s Budget

Space Florida
Space Florida

Space Florida keeps its full $3.8M budget
Orlando Sentinel

Sen. Mike Fasano backed off his threat to strip Space Florida of nearly half its $3.8million state appropriation Thursday, saying he thought the agency understood his opposition to the nearly $300,000 it spent on lobbyists last year.

“I think they got our message,” the New Port Richey Republican said as the Legislature’s transportation and economic-development conference committee continued hammering out its budget. “I hope that will never happen again.”

Fasano on Wednesday had threatened to slash $1.85million out of Space Florida’s $3.8 million budget after an Orlando Sentinel report about the agency’s spending on lobbyists. Space Florida is a quasi-public agency that is supposed to recruit and assist space-based businesses, though it has had few recent successes.

Fasano, who met with Space Florida President Steve Kohler earlier Thursday, said he had been assured the agency hadn’t used any of its state-appropriated dollars on the high-priced lobbying firms in Washington and Tallahassee.

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