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TALLAHASSEE - While other state agencies get by with less, Florida's economic development and tourism initiatives would see double-digit increases under Gov. Lawton Chiles' proposed $42 billion budget for 1997-1998.
In all, economic development programs would get about a 14 percent increase, raising this year's $106 million to about $121.5 million, according to budget analysts in the governor's office. That compares with an overall state budget hike of 5.5 percent, under Chiles' proposal.
One of the most significant increases is in tourism, which would see a 22 percent jump in funding. The Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corp., operating this year on an $18 million budget, would get $4 million more. Half of that increase cannot be spent except in an emergency, however, and the other half must be matched by the private sector in order to be spent.
Funding for commerce and tourism now falls under the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (or OTTED, pronounced "Oh-Ted" in Capitol circles) within the Executive Office of the Governor. OTTED, created by the Legislature last year, serves as the bridge between the economic development and tourism public-private partnerships and state government.
Chiles is recommending $25.7 million for Enterprise Florida for …