Florida Chamber Releases 2020 Jobs Agenda

FLORIDA CHAMBER’S 2020 JOBS AGENDA

Keeping Florida’s Momentum Going and Predicting 200,000 New Jobs in 2020

“Making Florida more competitive is essential for job and economic growth.”

MARK WILSON, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

TALLAHASSEE, FL (January 13, 2020) – Job creators are gathering in Tallahassee this week with optimism that Florida can keep the momentum going, create 200,000 new jobs this year, and strengthen Florida’s economy even more through actions by the Florida Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis. Additionally, job creators have released the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda, commonly referred to as the Florida Business Agenda, which highlights where the Florida Chamber stands on key legislative decisions. 

Business leaders from throughout Florida are gathering this week at the Capitol as part of the Florida Chamber’s Annual Legislative Fly-In, and are sharing the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda which will help create jobs, lower the cost of living and lift incomes – with the belief that Florida’s best days are yet to come.

The Florida Chamber is uniting the business community for good to:

– Lower the Cost of Living,
-Reduce the Cost of Doing Business, and
-Better Prepare for Florida’s Future Growth.

These are ideas outlined in Florida’s 2030 Blueprint, commonly known as Florida’s next Strategic Plan.

“The Florida Chamber’s annual jobs and competitiveness agenda – the Florida Business Agenda – is a set of priorities that will help grow private sector jobs, continue to create economic opportunity in Florida and further diversify our economy,” said Charles Caulkins, Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Partner at Fisher Phillips.

For the last nine years, Florida has outpaced the U.S. economy in job growth. As Florida will grow at approximately 900 new residents daily, Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish predicts that Florida will create 200,000 new jobs in 2020 and that the Sunshine State has a lower probability of recession than last year.

“If Florida was a stock, it would be considered a strong buy. While Florida’s economic outlook for 2020 is positive, it’s not without risks which is why passing the Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda is so important,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda Includes:

Lowering the Cost of Living:

Lawsuit abuse essentially amounts to additional taxes on Florida families over $4,000 each year. Florida’s lawsuit climate currently ranks 46 out of 50 in a national survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

  • The Florida Legislature should improve Florida’s legal climate by passing common-sense reforms to curtail abuse of Florida’s legal system.

“If we make the legal climate so it’s based on the clients rather than the attorneys, I think that would be a better climate,” Governor Ron DeSantis said when the national survey ranking Florida’s lawsuit climate among the nation’s worst was released.

Reducing Florida’s Cost of Doing Business:

Discouraging and anti-competitive tax policies, like the Florida-only business rent tax and lack of internet sales tax collection, make Florida less competitive.

  • The Florida Legislature should advance globally competitive tax policies by reducing the Business Rent Tax and modernizing Florida’s tax code to collect sales tax on internet transactions from out-of-state retailers.

Preparing for the Future Growth:

According to www.TheFloridaScorecard.org, there are 284,800 jobs looking for people and 323,000 people looking for jobs. Finding a qualified workforce is a top concern for job creators. Employers need talent that is prepared to enter the workforce, and Florida wins when we close the talent gap.

The Florida Legislature should:

  • Continue to focus on early learning, talent and workforce shortage solutions. 
  • Continue to support the legislatively-created Talent Development Council to develop a coordinated, data-driven, statewide approach to meeting Florida’s needs for a 21st century workforce that employers and educators use as part of Florida’s talent supply system. This also supports Governor DeSantis’s efforts to have the number one workforce in America.

By 2030, 4.5 million more residents will call Florida home. A growing Florida means a growing need for forward-thinking infrastructure investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, agriculture and other hard and soft infrastructure sectors.

The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition recommends that the Florida Legislature:

  • Continue to make long-term investments in energy, transportation, resiliency and water policy for Florida’s future.

Florida is currently experiencing a shortage of access to high-value, quality healthcare and that is a problem that will continue to grow as Florida’s population grows. That is why we support expanding scope of practice laws to allow for greater access to care, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

The Florida Chamber’s Healthcare Partnership encourages the Florida Legislature to:

  • Support expanding scope of practice for Advanced Practitioners and allow them to practice medicine to the full extent of their education and training.

“Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been at the forefront of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. Our focus remains steadfast in our efforts to be the driving force uniting Florida’s business community for good, creating economic opportunity and growing jobs,” Wilson added.

The Florida Chamber will track each bill on the Florida Business Agenda, and votes will be used as the basis for grading lawmakers at the conclusion of the Legislative Session. We look forward to working with Governor DeSantis, Senate President Bill Galvano and Speaker of the House Jose Oliva to keep Florida’s momentum going.

The Florida Chamber’s 2020 Florida Business Agenda can be downloaded HERE.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Statement on Removal of Energy Dereg. from Ballot

Florida Chamber of Commerce Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Remove the Proposed Electricity Deregulation Ballot Initiative Off 2020 Ballot

Tallahassee, Fla. (January 9, 2020) – Today, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the so-called electricity deregulation ballot proposal is misleading, therefore removing it from the 2020 ballot. Below is a statement from Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a great win for Florida’s competitiveness. We cannot secure Florida’s future with regulatory policies that will make our state less competitive and electricity more expensive.

“The Florida Supreme Court made the right decision in finding the proposed electricity deregulation initiative misleading. The Florida Chamber will continue to protect our constitution, and we’ll remain vigilant should this issue try to reappear.”

The Florida Chamber has a long history of protecting Florida’s constitution. In 2019, the Florida Chamber filed a legal brief, agreeing with Attorney General Ashley Moody in opposing the ballot initiative as it could cause great harm to Florida’s economy.

Additionally, the Florida Chamber conducted a financial impact study and found that the proposed changes to Florida’s electricity market would have the very damaging financial impact on state and local governments of more than $1.2 billion per year in increased costs and reduced revenues.

Today’s Florida Supreme Court decision will ensure prices don’t rise for Florida families, and will ensure that Florida’s Constitution is protected.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

2020 Florida Business Leaders’ Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity

Did you know more than 3 million Floridians live in poverty? Of those, more than 260,000 are under age 5.

Join business and industry leaders as well as elected officials and community voices us as we analyze a path to prosperity for each of Florida’s zip codes. We will also discuss best practices around the state, how they can be replicated and more. Conversations will also focus around 10 topic areas that the Florida Chamber Foundation’s research shows are: Jobs, Education, Housing, Health, Food, Safety, Child care, Justice, Transportation and Agency-Community voice.

Florida Business Leaders Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity
May 19, 2020
The Westin Sarasota
Sarasota, Florida

To have your logo featured here, click here or contact Aaron Kinnon at AKinnon@FlFoundation.org.

Making Florida More Competitive is Essential for Jobs and Economic Growth

 

Watch Our News Conference     Download Where We Stand

 

The 2019 Legislative Session begins in earnest next week, and as we prepare to enter this 60-day event, we are reminded that choices matter. The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s annual jobs and competitiveness policy agenda, commonly referred to as the Florida Business Agenda, is a set of priorities that will help grow private sector jobs, continue to create economic opportunity in Florida and further diversify our economy.

Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been on the front lines of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. While time passes, our focus remains the same – to be the driving force in uniting Florida’s business community, creating economic opportunities and growing private-sector jobs.

In many ways, Florida is moving in the right direction; but the truth is, things are fragile. Political inaction and uncertainty, changing demographics and unprecedented amounts of out-of-state special interests pose a threat to Florida’s sustainability and competitiveness.

Making Florida more competitive is essential for economic growth and job creation, which is why the Florida Chamber is calling on lawmakers to reduce the cost of living, reduce the cost of doing business and to prepare for Florida’s future growth.

For more than eight years, Florida has outpaced the U.S. economy in job growth. Growing at just under 900 new residents daily, Florida Chamber Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish predicts that Florida will create 150,000 new jobs in 2019 and that the Sunshine State has a very low probability of recession.

I’ve often said that if Florida was a stock, I’d buy all the stock I could. While Florida’s economic outlook for 2019 is positive, it’s not without risks, which is why passing the Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda is so important.

 

Reducing the Cost of Living

When it comes to reducing the cost of living, the Florida Legislature should put consumers ahead of trial lawyers and finally end Assignment of Benefits (AOB) scams that the Wall Street Journal and others have consistently written about. I encourage you to learn more about AOB fraud and abuse by reading this Pensacola News Journal article that Harold Kim, COO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform and I recently published.

 

Lowering the Cost of Doing Business

To lower the cost of doing business, lawmakers must fix Florida’s broken lawsuit climate. Florida’s bottom-five legal climate translates to a $4,442 tax on Florida families. Click here to see what leaders from Allstate, Safelite, People’s Trust Insurance, and Ron Jon Surf Shop have to say about Florida’s “judicial hellhole.”

 

Preparing for Future Growth

With 26 million people expected to call Florida home by 2030, and three million more drivers on our roads, it’s important that Florida’s infrastructure is prepared for this future growth. Therefore the Florida Chamber and its Infrastructure Coalition recommend that lawmakers champion innovations and adequate funding in all modes of transportation, secure affordable, efficient and sustainable energy solutions, champion long-term, sustainable water and environmental policies and ensure proactive economic planning and development.

Further, preparing for future growth also means ensuring that we have a qualified workforce to close the talent gap. That’s why we will again encourage the legislature to prepare Florida’s workforce to address the skills gap, and improve attainment and access to higher education and post-secondary learning.

2019 Florida Business Agenda

During last week’s 2019 Legislative Fly-In we had the opportunity to share your 2019 Florida Business Agenda with Governor Ron DeSantis and members of the Florida Legislature, the Cabinet and state agency leaders. Chief among guest speakers were Governor DeSantis, who hosted Legislative Fly-In attendees at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson, Florida Department of Transportation Senior Policy Advisor Doug Callaway, Representative Chris Sprowls and Senators Wilton Simpson and Joe Gruters.

Each week during the legislative session, you’ll receive the Florida Chamber’s Weekly Legislative Update and learn the latest on how the Florida Business Agenda is fairing. When important “pro-biz” votes are scheduled, we’ll reach out and encourage you to share your support with lawmakers. And when there are bad “no-biz” bills that may force additional employer mandates on job creators, we’ll be there to push back against those who want free enterprise to fail.

Thank you for your support of free enterprise and in us.

Join Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis at 2018 Capitol Days

 

Register

 

The fight to make Florida more competitive for job creators is more important than ever. Join Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis, top business executives, legislators and state leaders for in-depth discussions on securing Florida’s future. If you believe strengthening Florida’s economy, spurring growth, creating jobs and lifting incomes are vital to securing Florida’s future, make sure your voice is heard.

Join us at the Florida Chamber’s 2018 Capitol Days as we start our day with Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis saoff during breakfast on Wednesday, January 10.

 

Topics of Discussion During Capitol Days Will Include:

-Lowering the Cost of Doing Business in Florida
-Once Every 20 Years: Constitutional Solutions or Problems?
-Politically Speaking – What Do Floridians Really Think?
-What You Can Do Now to Secure Florida’s Future
-And More

2017 Legislative Summary

 

Download Legislative Summary

 

“Thanks to the thousands of businesses that stood with the Florida Chamber to help make Florida more competitive during the 2017 Florida Legislative Session. While lawmakers did pass important legislation, we look forward to future opportunities to lower costs on families and businesses, and to putting Florida’s 483,000 unemployed Floridians back to work,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Florida Chamber’s 2017 Legislative Summary provides a more comprehensive outline of what passed as well as unfinished business.

 

Florida Chamber of Commerce 2017 Agenda To #MakeFLMoreCompetitive Through Jobs And Economic Growth

Urges Lawmakers to Make Florida More Competitive and Create Economic Opportunity for Millions of Floridians

TALLAHASSEE, FL (January 12, 2017) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today unveiled its 2017 Competitiveness Agenda – #MakeFLMoreCompetitive – a step-by-step legislative roadmap that focuses resources and expertise to advance jobs, competitiveness and economic opportunity for Floridians.

#MakeFLMoreCompetitive builds on 122 pro-jobs bills passed and signed into law in the last six years that have propelled Florida with positive economic momentum. However, the Florida Chamber’s Competitiveness Agenda also recognizes economic and demographic shifts that, if not addressed through a long-term lens, could put Florida’s economic conditions in a fragile position.

Looking at Florida’s leadership nationally, Florida is currently producing more than 1 in 10 new American jobs in the U.S. While Florida Chamber Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish predicts the Sunshine State will gain approximately 190,000 jobs in 2017, Florida’s demographics are changing. Over the next 14 years, Florida – which relies on sales tax revenue to fund 77 percent of general revenue receipts – will see:

  • 215,000 fewer people in their prime spending years buying taxable goods that produce sales tax revenue, and
  • 2 million more people 65 and older who traditionally purchase more non-taxable services.

Economic opportunity for everyone is our priority. Consider that:

  • 3.28 million Floridians are food stamp/SNAP recipients,
  • 3.129 million Floridians are living in poverty, and
  • 1.675 million are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.

The Florida Legislature can take steps now to help ensure a stronger business climate that will grow jobs and the economy now and into the future. Chief among the Florida Chamber’s recommendations to #MakeFLMoreCompetitive are:

  • Fixing Florida’s broken workers’ comp system, and stopping the $1.5 billion jobs tax,
  • Improving Florida’s Bottom 10 legal climate, which creates a $3,400 tax for a family of four each year,
  • Resolving Florida’s increasing Homeowners Fraud Tax that results from Assignment of Benefits abuse, which increases homeowners insurance premiums for families,
  • Protecting Florida’s family-friendly brand from expanded Las Vegas-style casino gambling,
  • Insuring Florida continues to attract and retain jobs, and
  • Preparing Florida’s workforce through continued improvements to our K-12 system, increasing educational opportunities in higher education and 21st century vocational trades – all to help ensure a talented workforce is Florida’s best long-term economic development strategy.

As always, the Florida Chamber’s 2017 Competitiveness Agenda will score dozens of bills on its priority agenda that will further build on Florida’s competitiveness, including:

 

Keeping Florida’s Business Climate Competitive

A tax climate that helps generate jobs, reduces the Business Rent Tax, and increases investments for the R&D tax credit. Additionally, further reducing burdensome regulations while also supporting regulations that embrace innovation and welcome a statewide framework for ridesharing.

 

Closing Florida’s Talent Gap by Improving Educational Opportunities

A talented workforce to fill jobs through continued education reforms, including increasing investments in workforce development programs, and championing school choice options and competition.

 

Preparing Florida’s Infrastructure for Smarter Growth

Investing in infrastructure to meet future growth needs, including making key investments in rural infrastructure.

 

Championing Florida’s Quality of Life

Supporting a quality of life that protects natural resources, and advocates long-term comprehensive energy policy. Additionally, championing smarter health care outcomes through a better healthcare delivery system, and expanded medical education opportunities.

 

Diversifying Florida’s Economy and Creating High-Wage Jobs

Supporting Florida’s manufacturing industry, diversifying our economy and creating jobs through economic development efforts, and ensuring Florida remains globally competitive by moving more goods, making more products for export and multiplying the impacts of trade.

 

Making Florida Government More Efficient

Protecting Florida’s Constitution through the Constitution Revision Commission, and improving government efficiencies and state competitiveness.

 

“Florida business leaders are optimistic about the changes taking place at the national level, but we also remain realistic that the road ahead is challenging,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “While there’s an awful lot of good going on in Florida, the truth is that things are fragile, and the Florida Legislature has the opportunity this session to ensure we #MakeFLMoreCompetitive for families and job creators.”

 

Based on input from Florida Chamber members, local chambers of commerce, partner associations, research, and unfinished business from 2016, the Florida Chamber’s 2017 Competitiveness Agenda is a blueprint of legislative priorities that it will lobby, track and score this Legislative Session.

 

A complete listing of the Florida Chamber’s 2017 Competitiveness Agenda is available at www.FloridaChamber.com.

 

 

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.