A push by Florida House Republicans to scuttle the state’s economic development agency is moving ahead, despite fierce opposition by Gov. Rick Scott.

A divided House panel on Tuesday voted for a bill that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and cut back spending on tourism advertising. The contentious legislation (HB 7005) moves to the full House, which is expected to take up the bill in March.

The measure is a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran. He and other top Republicans contend the state is wasting money on “corporate welfare” and have questioned the need for Visit Florida to spend money on tourism advertising.

Initially Republicans proposed eliminating Visit Florida. But the House Appropriations Committee changed the bill to cap annual spending at $25 million a year.

Scott in a statement called the bill a “job killer.”

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Photo Credit: A promotional image for an Everglades boat excursion. State legislators in Florida are moving forward with plans to gut development spending, including tourism. Visit Florida