Florida Chamber: Focus Federal Stimulus Funding on Job Creation and Economic Transition
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 18, 2009) - In order to put Floridians back to work and help transition our economy, the Florida Chamber of Commerce encourages legislators to target federal economic stimulus funds towards the more than 250 specific job creation proposals presented jointly by the Florida Chamber, The Florida Council of 100 and Enterprise Florida. The job creation proposals were presented before the Senate Select Committee on Florida’s Economy on January 13 and before a joint meeting of the House’s Economic Development & Community Affairs Policy Council, the General Government Council and the Policy Council on February 4.
“States that use federal stimulus dollars to plug budget holes will miss opportunities to create private sector jobs and transition their economies,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Florida will receive as much as $12.2 billion of the $789 billion federal economic stimulus package over the next three years. Florida is home to approximately 6.5% of the US population but will only directly receive approximately 1.5% of the federal stimulus package funding.
“Unfortunately, Florida continues to be a donor state,” said Wilson. “It’s disappointing that Florida’s share of the package falls short of the needed economic boost that could have had more people back to work and significantly transitioned our state’s economy.”
255,200 Florida jobs have been lost since December 2007. Unemployment is currently at 752,000 which is 8.1% of the state’s labor force of 9,313,000. The White House estimates that the federal stimulus funding will create 206,000 jobs in Florida.
“The Florida Chamber and our Coalition partners sought a federal stimulus package that was targeted, timely and effective at putting Floridians back to work in the short-term and enabling significant long-term economic gains,” said Wilson. As Florida remains on pace to become the third largest state, we must join together with a stronger, united voice for our fair share in Washington.”
After meeting with President Barack Obama’s transition team in Washington, DC and the Florida Congressional Delegation before the start of the new Congress, the Florida Chamber of Commerce launched the Florida Coalition for Federal Economic Stimulus Coalition. The Coalition includes 193 local chambers of commerce, associations and other organizations who are seeking timely and effective use of federal stimulus dollars in a manner that creates the maximum number of private sector Florida jobs.
The Florida Chamber launched the Coalition to unite business community efforts and serve as a source for breaking news, information and updates regarding the economic package. The Coalition’s website is located here: http://www.flchamber.com/mx/hm.asp?id=leg_coalition_eco_stimulus.