Scott promises more port money if re-elected

Gov. Rick Scott arrives at JaxPort for announcement.
Gov. Rick Scott arrives at JaxPort for announcement.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In his third visit to JaxPort this year, Florida Gov. Rick Scott promising to spend more money on the state's deepwater ports if he wins a second term, reaching a total of $1 billion over his eight years in office.
During port visits to Jacksonville on Wednesday, followed by Port Canaveral and Tampa, Scott will detail the $700 million spent on Florida's ports and infrastructure over the past four years and his commitment to do more if reelected.

Scott says projected approved last fall to the Blount Island Terminal will improve infrastructure and handle heavier cargo, creating 50 construction jobs, 4,600 direct and indirect jobs plus the retention of 12,000 existing jobs. 

In March, he attended the announcement of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility at Dames Pointe which is expected to create over 340 construction jobs and 800 direct and indirect jobs over the next four decades. It will allow ships and freight trains to transfer cargo containers efficiently, giving JAXPORT faster access to Southeast markets.

"As we work to create even more jobs for the next generation, investing in our ports is key to our success," Scott said in a release. "Our ports are our connection to global commerce and the world. If we want to become a destination for the world's tourists and for the world's jobs – we have to keep investing in our ports."

According to the Florida Ports Council, cruise and cargo activity at Florida ports generate more than 680,000 direct and indirect jobs and $96 billion in total economic value. For every $1 invested in Florida seaports, Florida's economy experiences $6.90 in economic activity.

This marks the first time Scott has outlined what he plans to do if he wins re-election in November. The incumbent Republican is in a tough re-election battle against former Gov. Charlie Crist and is trailing in some polls.