Florida’s economy has long relied on the twin blessings of agriculture and tourism, bringing a combined economic impact of more than $165 billion to our state. These industries have served our state and our people well, and we must ensure their continued success.

Yet, we must also build the next generation of Florida’s economy. Innovation has built Florida’s biotechnology business sector with almost 11 percent of all biotech companies in the United States. Yet, we must do more – more innovation means more businesses and more jobs for Floridians. To achieve these goals, I ask you to invest $125 million to attract and grow innovation companies and the jobs they bring, as well as $10 million for shovel-ready projects in the rural areas of the state.

We can also strengthen our clean energy business sector by investing $10 million for solar energy rebates, as well as injecting $176 million in federal funding into our economy by expanding green energy technologies, including rebates for energy efficient appliances. The historic legislation passed two years ago is creating a new energy future for Florida, where we strive to become among the top two states in the nation in terms of solar energy. As the Sunshine State, we should expect nothing less.

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