TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) --
The state Legislature passed a bill (SB 38-A) Wednesday sought by Gov. Charlie Crist to make $8.5 million available in loans of up to $250,000 for expanding companies employing 10 to 50 people. The measure includes another $1.5 million to provide technical experience to businesses.
Critics said it amounts to corporate welfare. Supporters argued that such "economic gardening" is needed to help businesses that cannot get loans for expansion due to tight credit in the commercial market.
It passed 111-7 in the House and 29-11 in the Senate. The measure now heads to Crist for his signature.