Florida Space Development Council Backs Spending Priorities

Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Florida Gov. Rick Scott

May 13, 2013

The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor of Florida
The Capitol Building, PL-05
300 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Dear Governor Scott:

The Florida Space Development Council (FSDC), a statewide membership organization affiliated with the National Space Society, was recently formed to provide grassroots advocacy for policies we believe will support the continued development and diversification of Florida’s aerospace industry.

We are thrilled that the Florida Legislature this year approved an important collection of space-related bills and budget items, and would greatly appreciate your favorable consideration of these items. In particular, we call your attention to the following items which we support:

– Space Florida Budget Items. This includes $10M for operations (a bargain); $7M for project financing (a discriminator for Florida); $1M for Florida/Israel aerospace collaboration (interesting); and $1.5M for space tourism marketing (we like a proposed suborbital tourism pathfinder flight).

– FDOT Spaceport Infrastructure. Somewhere in the FDOT budget is $20M for spaceport-related transporta-tion infrastructure. This too is a discriminator for Florida and establishes our state as a true innovator in this industry.

– Challenger/Columbia Tag Funding. HB-4033 and SB954 were passed to transfer revenues from these li-cense plates from the soon-to-be-dissolved TRDA to the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. This will consoli-date the funding in a single organization and increase the effective use of the money for aerospace education.

– Titusville Spaceport Designation. HB-135 would establish Brevard County’s Space Coast Executive Airport and some adjacent lands as a “spaceport territory.” This could support the airport’s efforts to attract new space-focused business.

– Space Education and Research. Multiple funding items deserve your support, including $9M for Embry-Riddle’s aerospace research park; $250K for “Space Week” student trips to Kennedy Space Center; $2M for space research at Florida Tech; $1M for Embry-Riddle high school “Aerospace Academies” around the state; and $250K for a bio-agricultural space research project.

If you or your staff have any questions about FSDC’s support for these items, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 610-996-6348. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Laura Seward
FSDC President
A Chapter of the National Space Society
Florida Space Development Council