Update on Florida Legislative Space Initiatives

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center
Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

The good folks at the Florida Space Development Council have provided this handy update on the fates of space initiatives during the current legislative session. It looks like it’s been a good session overall, with most objectives achieved. All approved measures are subject to veto by Gov. Rick Scott.

2014 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE SPACE ISSUES – UPDATED 5/4/14
ISSUE/BILLHOUSE
STATUS
SENATE STATUSCOMMENTS
Space Florida Ops Budget ($10 Million)Funded at $14.5M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $14.5M in Senate/House conference budgetKeep Space Florida budget at same level as 2013. $4M in recurring base budget, $6M in nonrecurring funds.
Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Incentive Carry-ForwardHB-1209 bill died in committeeSB-1422 bill died in committeeAllows more than one year for QTI recipients (including aerospace firms) to use tax credit allowance, or sell credits to other firms.
Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1.5M)Fully funded within Space Florida ops budgetFully funded within Space Florida ops budgetRecurring budget item (from 2013) to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business. Included in base budget.
Space Florida Financing/Investment Fund ($7M)Funded at $5M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $5M in Senate/House conference budget$2M less than in 2013. Funding for financing deals for aerospace
expansion projects. Half can be used for infrastructure projects.
Space Transportation Infrastructure Funding ($20M)$20M is in FDOT annual work program through 2018$20M is in FDOT annual work program through 2018Continued funding within FDOT budget for “TIP” program. $15M minimum is included in FDOT budget allocation.
Israel Joint Aerospace Development ($1M)Fully funded within Space Florida ops budgetFully funded within Space Florida ops budgetContinued funding of joint aerospace projects with Space Florida and Israel. Included in Gov’s budget request.
Shuttle Landing Facility
Transition ($2.5M)
Allowed in Financing/
Investment Fund line (above)
Allowed in Financing/
Investment Fund line (above)
Funding to transition/promote SLF for new commercial and govt users. $2.5M/year for two years suggested by some legislators.
Cecil Field Spaceport Infrastructure ($2M)Added to Space Florida ops budgetAdded to Space Florida ops budgetFunding for Cecil Field spaceport infrastructure. Added to budget in conference committee.
Quick Response Training (QRT) Incentive ($12M)Fully funded in House budget
proposal
Fully funded in Senate budget proposalMaintaining 2013 funding level for this workforce training incentive managed by Workforce Florida. Included in Gov’s budget request.
STEM Workforce Training ($30M)Did not happenDid not happenSTEM scholarships to state colleges and vocational schools. Maybe added as proviso language to budget later in session.
Embry-Riddle high school aerospace academies ($1M)Funded at $3M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $3M in House/Senate conference budgetRecurring budget item to support/expand network of high school aerospace academies in Florida.
Florida Tech space transportation research ($500K)Added to Space Florida ops budgetAdded to Space Florida ops budgetNew funding request for research on “efficient commercial space transportation system.” A larger request was vetoed last year.