With a coastline like no other state in the Union, Florida's economy cashes in on sea commerce and other travel-related water activities. Now, the Florida Ports Council is asking the Florida Legislature for additional investment into the seaport industry.
President of the Florida Ports Council, Mike Rubin, commented on the opportunity for the state in a statement. Florida Republicans have long boasted that the state of Florida not only serves as a hub for the Culture War, but also as a haven of economic prosperity. Rubin believes states like California or New York would overcome Florida in economic advantages if the ports are not utilized.
"As history has proven, investments in our seaports lead to more jobs and revenue for Florida’s economy," said Rubin. "But Florida literally faces a fork in the road decision – we either continue to make significant investments to allow Florida to seize the growing global trade opportunity, or we allow it to pass us by for states like California, Texas, Georgia and others on the Eastern seaboard, including New York and New Jersey."
Rubin continued to compare Florida to other states, this time Texas when he stated, "Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently approved an historic $200 million for 31 different seaport projects, that’s more than Florida’s typical $135-$149 million annually for about 14 port infrastructure projects." Rubin added, "Georgia, by far Florida’s closest and fiercest competitor, is expanding its Brunswick port facility in an attempt to become the largest hub for automobile imports. This is a very direct threat to Florida’s largest automobile importing seaport."
In Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2024-25, Florida recommended $75 million in grants for Florida’s ports and other logistics facilities. The governor also $109.6 million approved for port infrastructure improvements.