Our top priority in the Legislature this year was recharging Florida's economy and helping put Floridians back to work. Throughout this year's Legislative Session, we stayed focused on our responsibility to Florida's families and businesses. We took important steps forward to incentivize new businesses, stimulate job creation and remove barriers to economic growth in Florida.
On the first day of session, we passed legislation that will help keep Floridians working, prevent layoffs, bring a degree of economic certainty to help create new jobs and foster economic growth in Florida. The bill we passed holds down dramatic increases in unemployment tax rates for businesses for the next two years, increases that would have occurred otherwise and likely resulted in layoffs for Floridians.
I felt it is better for Florida employers to use their dollars to keep Floridians working rather than be forced to lay off employees in order to afford a higher unemployment tax bill.
We passed a $203 million jobs package (over three years) for Floridians designed to make our state more economically competitive and encourage companies to invest in our state and hire Floridians. To encourage companies to hire Floridians who have been out of work, we provided tax credits to help make it easier to get Floridians back to work. To help thousands of Floridians who will be impacted by the ending of NASA's Space Shuttle program, we authorized $29.8 million for infrastructure improvements to attract aerospace industry jobs and to help workers in need of retraining. We also funded an attractive incentive package to bring the film and entertainment industry to Florida, to help make Florida more competitive for the jobs this industry creates.
There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Florida is facing one of the worst economies in memory. We took a long-term view toward restoring Florida's economy this year. We continued to work to get Floridians back to work and prepare for a future that will once again place Florida among the top states in economic growth and prosperity in America.