Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Florida governor wouldn't cut space funding

Funding for Space Florida, the state's aerospace economic development agency, wouldn't be cut next year under Gov. Rick Scott's proposed budget.

Click here for the entire $66.4 billion budget proposal for 2012-13 (see Space Florida line item on page 236).

Space advocates consider the flat funding for operations of $10 million a victory in a year when the state faces an overall shortfall of $1.7 billion.

In other good news for the Space Coast, an additional $15 million from the Florida Department of Transportation for spaceport infrastructure upgrades is expected to be available again in the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2012.

The same funding was provided in the current budget year but omitted from the department's five-year work plan, prompting an intense lobbying effort by local leaders.

The department has confirmed equivalent funding had been restored in next year's tentative work program. The money may help refurbish facilities including former shuttle hangars at Kennedy Space Center for new commercial users.

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