Florida ports might get millions in economic support

Source: Port of Montreal.

Florida leadership wants to offer funding to support the state’s seaports.

By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has submitted a new funding proposal to the Florida state legislature in order to appropriate and secure funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Democrats in Congress and President Joe Biden implemented the benchmark COVID-19 recovery bill authorized $195 billion of the total $1.9 trillion in funding for state and local governments.

Attempting to secure these funds, DeSantis has proposed funding to provide over $250 million to support the state’s seaports and inland port cargo forwarding systems. 

“The Governor’s recommendations include providing assistance to Floridians in need, and making major investments in critical areas such as infrastructure, education, and workforce development to continue Florida’s rapid economic recovery,” notes a press statement from the governor’s office.

“Florida’s recovery has far outpaced early projections and is on track to restore pre-pandemic economic growth. To bolster Florida’s recovery efforts, the Governor is recommending over $500 million for economic development and recovery initiatives.”

“These recommendations will boost Florida’s tourism industry, support critical job sectors, and maximize Florida’s economic incentive toolbox to get money out the door in support of programs that create high-paying jobs,” adds the statement, which includes the funds for the support of seasports.

The Maritime Executive reported that Florida’s 15 seaports will depend on the release of funds from the federal government and final allocations through the state legislature. 

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