OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Florida Legislature Votes to Enhance Florida’s Competitiveness
By: Florida Chamber of Commerce
Thanks to your tireless advocacy, the Florida Legislature today voted to make Florida more competitive and sent a strong signal nationwide that Florida remains open for business.
Prior to the start of this week’s Special Session, Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson urged legislative leaders to fully fund VISIT FLORIDA’s proven, high-yield tourism marketing efforts with at least $76 million, to provide operational funding for Enterprise Florida, Inc., and to invest at least $85 million in targeted economic development efforts such as infrastructure investment and job training.
“Florida’s taxpayers were the big winners of Special Session. By passing Florida Chamber-backed pro-jobs, pro-business legislation, lawmakers today made the most of their opportunity to protect and enhance Florida’s competitiveness, and sent a signal to the country that Florida remains open for business. Lawmaking isn’t always pretty, but just as business owners focus on achieving desired outcomes, not inputs, the outcome here was worth the wait,” said Frank Walker, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Florida Chamber.
Legislation Passed on June 9 Includes:
- Economic Development: Creates and funds at $85 million the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund program for targeted economic development investments, and provides base operation funding necessary for Enterprise Florida, Inc. to continue their work creating jobs and diversifying our economy,
- Tourism Marketing: Allocates $76 million to fully fund VISIT FLORIDA’s proven tourism marketing efforts with necessary accountability to taxpayers,
- Drug Free Workplace: Includes Florida Chamber-backed language in the medical marijuana implementation bill preserving employers’ right to insist on a Drug Free Workplace,
- Education: Increases public education funding by $215 million, and
- Herbert Hoover Dike: Provides $50 million for overdue repair of the dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee to enhance water storage and quality.
For a more in-depth look at legislation passed during this week’s Special Legislative Session, as well as a reminder of Florida Chamber-backed legislation that passed during the Regular Legislative Session, click here.
The Florida Chamber looks forward to future opportunities to work with lawmakers to stomp out the ‘Homeowners Fraud Tax’ associated with Assignment of Benefit fraud and abuse, to lower workers’ comp rates facing employers, and continued efforts to fully repeal the Florida-only business rent tax.