Space Florida is responsible for advocating the needs of Florida’s space industry to the Florida Legislature and Congress. Legislative support is critical to accomplishing the mission of Space Florida. Funding for spaceport infrastructure, financing and business development by the Florida Legislature has been crucial to Space Florida’s successes. Over $100 million have been appropriated by the Florida Legislature in the past 6 years, proving that the state of Florida is fully supportive of growing both the civil and commercial space industry.

Additionally, significant policy shifts have taken place in favor of Florida at both the state and federal level since Space Florida’s creation. In 2008 Florida adopted spaceflight informed consent laws. In 2011, manufacturers and suppliers were exempted from liability due to the inherent risk of spaceflight. Also, in 2011 the Florida Legislature passed tax credits specific to the space industry. In 2012 space was further incorporated into the Florida Department of Transportation with spaceports currently funded within the five year work program.

Jim McCarthy: State must embrace space opportunities

Feb 03, 2012

Jan. 9, 2012 Tallahassee Democrat

Many challenges and exciting changes are ramping up for the space industry in Florida as work continues on the future of space exploration. More than ever, the state needs to be aggressive in creating a robust atmosphere for space business.

Florida has the third-largest space industry in the United States and ranks fourth in the nation for space-based employment. The aerospace industry impacts almost every county. Preserving and fostering this high-tech industry requires unified action by industry and local, state and federal government officials.

Florida is open for business and stands to harvest many new innovations created from investments in the aerospace industry. Future business and employment opportunities must be generated to ensure we hold and leverage a world-class workforce. In addition, the space business brings in cutting-edge research and development of global significance inspiring Florida's future scientists and engineers.

On Wednesday, I am partnering with my colleagues in the space industry to speak with state leaders in Tallahassee. It is critical that Florida's legislators, local elected officials and the business community work together to lead America's next chapter in space exploration; attract new business by offering incentives to create a vibrant 21st century aerospace community; and position Florida to capture innovative national and international space-related business to stimulate the economy.

Failure to act now will mean missed opportunities to grow the state's high tech economy. Florida's must remain a world-class aerospace business location.

We need to capture and keep the future of space thriving in the state. Legislative support is critical now to harness the next big step for mankind and keep our leading edge as the number one place for space.

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