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Visit Florida funding in jeopardy

Posted at 6:38 AM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 06:55:31-04

The state's primary tourism marketing agency could get defunded if Florida House lawmakers get their way.

On Wednesday, the State Senate approved $50 million to fund Visit Florida — the agency brings in $80 billion in tourism.

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The proposal from the Senate is going to the House, where some lawmakers want to completely cut funding. There's been some controversy with spending. The latest example is when Visit Florida paid Miami native and rapper Pitbull $1 million to promote the state in a video called "Sexy Beaches."

Small businesses who pay a membership fee say they need Visit Florida to keep their doors open. They rely on promotion near and far to get people to take a vacation in their towns.

On average, Visit Florida has received about $75 million. Even if the House and Senate agree, the tourism agency would get about 33% less.

There's two more weeks in the session for lawmakers to decide.

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