2020 Legislative Session Summary

Florida Legislature Takes Steps to Keep Florida’s Momentum Going

Lowers Cost of Living, Reduces Cost of Doing Business, Prepares for Future Growth, Protects Florida’s Constitution and Prepares for Virus’ Impact

As we work to grow Florida’s economy from the 17th largest in the world to the 10th, the Florida Chamber is uniting business for good around the Florida 2030 blueprint – Florida’s next strategic plan. Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature took steps during the 2020 Legislative Session to keep Florida’s momentum going.

Lawmakers passed 12 Florida Chamber-backed bills that lower the cost of living, reduce the cost of doing business, prepare for future growth, and protect Florida’s Constitution.

The Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda was supported by hundreds of local chamber members traveling to Tallahassee to meet with their lawmakers, and 144 separate Florida Chamber testimonials before House and Senate committees – all backed by a lobbying and public affairs team of 30 strong.

The Florida Chamber was also instrumental in defeating 23 bills bad for business, including bills that would insert government between employers and employees with all sorts of new employer mandates and create new lines of lawsuits – making Florida’s poor legal climate even worse.

The 60-day legislative session was extended by one-week, in part due to the economic uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus which caused a delay in finalizing the $93.2 billion state budget. Lawmakers filed 3,578 bills, and passed 210.

Chief among Florida Chamber-backed legislation that passed this session are bills that:
• Strengthened Florida’s school choice options to serve even more students,
• Increased access to healthcare by expanding scope of practice for advanced registered nurse practitioners,
• Invested in Florida’s economic development and tourism marketing programs,
• Protected the environment with long-term water quality investments,
• Ensured Florida remains the Sunshine State, not the ‘melanoma state,’ by preempting scientifically dubious local bans on proven sunscreens,
• Protected Florida’s Constitution from special interests buying their way onto Florida’s ballot, and
• Invested in Florida’s rural communities with cost-effective economic development efforts.
Meanwhile, not all lawmakers were trying to make Florida more competitive. Some in the legislature tried to create a patchwork of regulations increasing costs on businesses, families and consumers. Additionally, there were a host of attempted mandates on job creators, including misguided wage and employment condition mandates.

And throughout session, the Florida Chamber took on attacks from those that want to make Florida less competitive, including government unions, billboard trial lawyers and fringe environmental groups seeking to give the same legal rights you enjoy as a citizen to their local river or lake.

Moving Forward

The Florida Chamber will soon release its Legislative Report Card – a comprehensive report based on over 4,000 individual votes on the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda. Click here to read the complete Florida Chamber 2020 Legislative Summary.