An essential responsibility of the government is to improve the quality of life of its citizens by using innovative policies to benefit its constituency. In order for Florida to maintain its relevancy in the global economy, it is imperative that Florida embraces a stable and reliable financial revenue structure.
The current lack of continuity in Florida’s tax structure tied to a national period of financial strife and economic downturn has significantly impacted the core services and resources that are necessary to responsibly invest in our future.
State lawmakers can make great strides through transitioning Florida to a knowledge based driven economy. Appropriate steps could include tapping into the viable economic opportunities that already exist in higher education. In addition to this, Floridians must support the core foundation of the New Florida Initiative with its strong emphasis on the development of intellectual capital.
New Florida is a policy that models an initiative that was successfully implemented in North Carolina. Currently, Florida’s economy is based off of tourism, growth and agriculture. The new policy direction would shift the state’s economic base from tourism and agriculture to a more knowledge based economy. The policy would encourage the states public universities to emphasize the fields of science, technology and mathematics.
There have been speculations about whether or not New Florida will take the emphasis off humanities and arts as more than half of the $100 billion being invested in the state university system will go toward funding to improve on the state’s current economic strengths.
Furthermore, Florida simply cannot rely on more people moving to Florida, more tourists, or better conditions for agricultural growth in order to generate revenue needed to sustain our great state.
The State University System is producing significantly fewer graduates than what the Florida workforce annually needs. The current system is not providing the resources to adequately promote innovation, breakthrough research, or excite industries to want to come to Florida to recruit the most prepared people to help their industry or company grow.
New Florida has mechanisms to promote economic prosperity and fulfill promise; such as the accountability measures to ensure that higher education is providing the necessary resources for Florida.
Transitioning into a knowledge-based economy gives Florida boundless opportunities. The aforementioned initiative develops a framework for Florida’s policy makers to invest significantly into higher education in the coming years.