No workforce funding for the Space Coast

Speaking at the Kennedy Space Center just over a year ago, President Obama promised $40 million for "regional economic growth and job creation" on Florida's Space Coast, $35 million of it in in the form of grants through the Commerce Department to support business in the area. Late today, though, Florida Today reported that the grant program won't be funded in FY2011. The article is short on details: it claims the funds were cut from the final continuing resolution (CR) that funded the government in 2011, although it's not clear if Congress explicitly failed to fund the program or if NASA and the Commerce Department, as they drew up spending plans as required by the CR, decided not to fund the program. A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) blamed "extremists bent on wildly and blindly slashing the budget" for the cut. The other $5 million, intended to establish a commercial spaceflight technical center run by the FAA at the Cape, apparently also is not funded.

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