Last night, Senate President Galvano and House Speaker Oliva negotiated a compromise which will extend VISIT FLORIDA's sunset 9 months, until June 30, 2020 and fund our state marketing agency with $50 million next fiscal year, a 33% reduction from funding levels the past couple of years. While this outcome is less than ideal, it will provide our industry time to reflect on the Legislature's misunderstandings of tourism marketing and develop a strategy for the future. No doubt, this issue will be another significant one for the FAA in next year's Legislative Session.
Considering the House's firm position to allow VISIT FLORIDA to sunset on October 1, 2019 and the Senate's position to reduce VISIT FLORIDA funding, this compromise was probably the best we could have hoped for. Governor DeSantis' intervention on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA was the catalyst that drove the compromise and he deserves recognition for expressing his support.
The tremendous efforts of your grassroots outreach to the Legislature, the diligent work of the FAA's lobby team of Liberty Partners of Tallahassee and the lobby teams of our industry partners, and the tireless determination of VISIT FLORIDAs CEO, Dana Young were all vital factors in saving VISIT FLORIDA.
Thank you for your support and outreach to your elected officials. With the 2020 Legislative Session beginning in January, committee weeks will begin in early fall.