Florida's annual legislative session is underway, and we are working with our partners locally, regionally and statewide to advocate on behalf of the tourism industry.
Last week, our team joined Destinations Florida and a statewide delegation of colleagues in Tallahassee. Our goal was to educate policymakers about the current challenges facing our industry and express gratitude to Central Florida representatives for their steadfast support. This week, I returned to Tallahassee, alongside the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, for a continuation of Florida Tourism Days. Together, we delved into discussions on important bills and the future trajectory of VISIT FLORIDA.
Why it's important: The partnership between Visit Orlando and VISIT FLORIDA has been instrumental in expanding our outreach to a wider audience through co-op advertising campaigns, targeted missions and various other opportunities. VISIT FLORIDA's impactful initiatives have brought millions of visitors and billions of dollars, significantly benefiting local communities statewide.
We support the Governor's proposed budget, which includes $105 million in continued funding for VISIT FLORIDA. Currently, the Senate is proposing $80 million, which is consistent with the current fiscal year. However, the House has suggested only $30 million.
How you can help: I urge you to contact your Orange County state delegation to help ensure VISIT FLORIDA continues to have stable funding. Your support will allow us to maintain our strong local-state partnership to achieve our mission of becoming the most visited, welcoming and inclusive travel destination in the world.
Other tourism bills we're watching: In addition, we are also closely monitoring bills that would impact the allocation of county-based Tourist Development Taxes. SB 1748 by Senator Brodeur and its House counterpart HB 1599 by Representative Truenow would require a supermajority vote of the county's governing board to spend more than 25 percent of the TDT on an individual project. The Senate bill was passed by the Finance and Tax committee yesterday. Other TDT-related bills we are watching include:
We will keep you updated as Florida's Legislative Session continues. Should you have questions regarding our advocacy efforts, please reach out and our team will provide more information.