2019 Distinguished Advocates

The Florida Chamber’s Distinguished Advocate award recognizes lawmakers who fought tirelessly for the passage of pro-business legislation – no matter how difficult – and advocated for the Florida Chamber’s goals of securing Florida’s future and commitment to Florida’s business community through job creation, economic development and free enterprise.

“We are pleased to honor members of the Florida Legislature with Distinguished Advocate awards who put free enterprise principles for job creation above special interests,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The 18 members of the Florida Legislature honored with a 2019 Florida Chamber Distinguished Advocate award include:

FLORIDA SENATE

Senator Jeff Brandes

Drove autonomous vehicle legislation that will help prepare Florida for the next generation of mobility, while also championing efforts to allow students to progress through school at their own pace based upon their mastery of concepts and skills.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Brandes

 

 

Senator Doug Broxson

Successfully passed assignment of benefits legislation, carrying a six-year Florida Chamber-led effort to protect homeowners from unscrupulous vendors across the finish line.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Broxson

 

 

Senator Manny Diaz, Jr.

Fought the teacher unions tooth and nail to pass historic school choice reform, ensuring more Florida students’ educational opportunities are not defined by their income or zip code.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Diaz

 

 

Senate President Bill Galvano

Partnered with the Florida Chamber Infrastructure Coalition to pass long-term infrastructure investments that will lead to increased investment and access to rural communities.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Galvano

 

 

Senator Joe Gruters

Carried half a dozen Florida Chamber-backed bills and policies on everything from targeted tax cuts and employer mandates preemptions, to long-term infrastructure investments and smart growth management, and the reauthorization of VISIT FLORIDA.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Gruters

 

 

Senator Travis Hutson

Sought to hold out-of- control local municipalities accountable for furthering a patchwork regulatory climate statewide and passed workforce education legislation to help bridge the talent gap facing Florida job creators and seekers.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Hutson

 

 

Senator David Simmons

Quarterbacked the fight to protect Florida’s constitution from out-of-state special interests and return the citizens’ initiative process to the citizens it was intended to serve.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Simmons

 

 

Senator Wilton Simpson

Consistently fought for business issues across all six pillars, making Florida more competitive.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Simpson

 

 

Senator Kelli Stargel

Led the fight for tort reform, sponsoring accuracy in damages legislation and successfully passing an exemption for the dangerous instrumentality doctrine; also fought alongside the Florida Chamber to lower the Florida-only business rent tax.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Sen. Stargel

 

FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

Representative Bryan Avila

Worked to lower costs by cutting taxes for Florida families and small businesses, including a reduction in the business rent tax.

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Avila

 

 

 

 

Representative Randy Fine

Championed forward-thinking policies that will make Florida’s electrical grid more resilient in the face of future hurricanes and storms.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Fine

 

 

 

Representative Jason Fischer

Championed innovative technology policy by successfully passing bills to advance the deployment and integration of autonomous vehicles and 5G communication services.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Fischer

 

 

 

Representative James Grant

Quarterbacked the fight to protect Florida’s constitution from out of state special interests and return the citizens’ initiative process to the citizens it was intended to serve.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Grant

 

 

 

Representative Tom Leek

Led the fight for tort reform, sponsoring accuracy in damages legislation and successfully passing an exemption for the dangerous instrumentality doctrine.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Leek

 

 

 

House Speaker Jose Oliva

Oversaw the Florida House of Representatives’ passage of nearly two dozen Florida Chamber-backed bills and budget priorities.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Oliva

 

 

 

Representative Paul Renner

Was the architect of the legislature’s successful effort to protect Florida’s constitution from out-of-state special interests and billionaires as well as the House’s bold legal reform agenda. Also shepherded successful passage of an innovative shared health care savings program.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Renner

 

Representative Jennifer Sullivan

Passed historic school choice reform to ensure more Florida students’ educational opportunities are not defined by their income or zip code.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Sullivan

 

 

Representative Clay Yarborough

Championed telehealth legislation backed by the Florida Chamber’s Healthcare Partnership aimed at increasing healthcare access and lowering costs.

 

Read Our News Release     Get to Know Rep. Yarborough