Lawmakers Considering Two E-Verify Bills

As you know, the Florida Chamber has long advocated for Congress to fix our broken federal immigration system, preferring a comprehensive, federal solution to a state-by-state patchwork of proposed fixes. The Florida Chamber has also consistently opposed any measure that unreasonably burdens Florida businesses.


Both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate have primed two proposals for the consideration of their respective chambers, but the measures are still far apart. Senate Bill 664 was amended in the last committee stop with several new provisions. The House Bill has not changed since its last stop. Below is a summary of both bills.

SB 664HB 1265
Requires E-Verify for all government contractors and subcontractors?YesYes
Requires E-Verify for Florida Businesses?YesYes
Can Other Systems Be Lawful Under Certain Circumstances?Yes, under a “substantially similar” system as defined by Department rule.Yes, if employee can provide the same documentation required by the Form I-9.
Small Business Exemption?Yes, for businesses under 50 employeesNo.
What State Entities Have Access to My Employee’s Data?If your business does not use the E-Verify system, the following entities may ask, and businesses must provide, the complete copies of all records used to establish identity:
• Any state agency
• Any federal agency
If your business does not use the E-Verify system, the following entities may ask, and businesses must provide, any documentation relied upon for verification of identity:
• FDLE
• Attorney General
• State Attorneys
• Statewide Prosecutor
May the State Remove Business Licenses for Non-compliance?YesYes
Is a New Cause of Action Created Against Employers?No, this provision was removed during the committee process.No, this provision was removed during the committee process.
Are Safe Harbors for Liability Created for Law Abiding Businesses?YesYes
Can Anyone File a Complaint Against My Company?Yes, any individual with a “good faith belief” may file a complaint against a business alleging the hiring of unlawful workers.No

We have ten days left in regular session. If your business would be negatively impacted by these proposed bills, please contact Christopher Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com soon.

Florida-Only E-Verify Proposal on Senate Committee Agenda Tomorrow

On February 18, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee will hear legislation mandating private sector use of the federal E-Verify program, Senate Bill 664. The text of the bill, which was amended to address several business-sector concerns at the last committee stop, can be found here.

An amendment has been filed to remove the agricultural exemption that was added in its first committee stop and additional amendments are expected as this legislation progresses. This is its second of three committee stops in the Senate. The House companion bill has not been heard yet, although that may soon change. The House bill has also yet to be amended and retains several anti-business provisions. The full text of that bill can be found here.

The Florida Chamber continues to have reservations on this Florida-only mandate, believing that comprehensive immigration reform must be done at the federal level rather than through a series of state-by-state fixes. We will continue to work with legislative leaders in both the House and the Senate to ensure that any law will not unfairly harm Florida’s competitiveness or economy.

Share Your Thoughts

Please let us know how SB 664 will impact your business. You can contact Policy Director Christopher Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com.

Florida-Only E-Verify Proposal on Senate Committee Agenda Next Tuesday

Senate Bill 664, legislation mandating private sector usage of the federal E-Verify program, will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. The full text of the bill can be found here.

In its current form, Senate Bill 664 requires all employers in the state to use the federal E-Verify program, allows public entities to nullify contracts with businesses based on suspected non-compliance, creates more legal liability through a new cause of action, and threatens government investigations if any person claims to have a “good faith belief” that a business has hired an unlawful worker.

To be sure, this bill is early in the process. Tuesday’s committee is the first hearing E-Verify legislation has received in either chamber this legislative session. The Florida Chamber expects several potential amendments to be filed before Tuesday’s hearing. We will be working with legislators between now and the Tuesday hearing and monitoring any proposed amendments closely.

As you know, the Florida Chamber has long advocated for Congress to fix our broken immigration system, preferring a comprehensive, federal solution rather than a state-by-state patchwork of proposed fixes.

If your business opposes this Florida-only mandate as drafted, please let your state legislators know before Tuesday’s meeting.

Florida Voters Strong on Governor DeSantis, Down on Impeachment Removal from Office, Concerned Most About Healthcare Costs and Finding Skilled Workers

Latest Florida Chamber Political Poll and Small Business Survey Show

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 21, 2020) – Governor Ron DeSantis continues to enjoy strong approval ratings among voters (68-18 percent), which is helping bolster voters’ feelings that Florida is moving in the right direction (63 to 24 percent), according to the latest statewide poll from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

And as the impeachment trial gets underway in the U.S. Senate today, Florida voters do not approve of the Senate removing President Donald Trump from office, with 52 percent of voters disapproving and 43 percent approving.

While healthcare tops the list of issues voters would like the Florida Legislature to tackle this session (18 percent), the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey shows that job creators are still most concerned about finding qualified workers to fill the 284,800 open jobs.

“Floridians are confident in Governor DeSantis and, while they’re concerned about healthcare costs and workforce quality, support his efforts to help keep Florida moving in the right direction and champion solutions,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

With the road to the White House running through Florida, presidential head-to-head races show Donald Trump leading Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

Governor DeSantis Approve/Disapprove:

68% approve
18% disapprove
14% unsure

Florida Right/Wrong Direction:


63% right direction
24% wrong track
13% not sure

After impeachment, should President Trump be removed from office?


TOTAL VOTERS:
52% disapprove, 43% approve
DEMOCRATS: 73% approve, 20% disapprove
NPA’s: 50% approve, 46% disapprove
REPUBLICANS: 87% disapprove, 9% approve

What issues should the legislature address?


Healthcare Costs 18%
Jobs/Economy 12%
Environment 9%
Education 9%
Immigration 6%

What’s keeping job creators up at night?

Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey
Workforce quality 28%
Healthcare Costs 13%
Government Regulations 12%
Economic Uncertainty 10%

Presidential Head-to-Heads


                            Head-to-Head                  DEM               REP                NPA

Trump/Biden             49/45                          16/78              88/7                41/51

Trump/Warren          50/43                          17/75              90/7                41/50

Trump/Bloomberg    49/44                          16/75              87/8                40/53

Trump/Buttigieg        50/43                          19/72              87/9                40/51

In addition to measuring where voters stand on candidates and issues, the latest polling results show that NPAs continue to lead in voter registrations. In December, the latest month for which the state has data, 29 percent of new voters registered as Democrats, 34 percent registered as Republicans, and 37 percent registered as NPA – for a total of 50,733 total voter registrations in Florida. Total state voter registrations show 37 percent are Democrats, 35 percent are Republicans and 28 percent are NPAs.

ABOUT THIS POLL:

The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on January 3-12,2020 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. The sample size included 247 Democrats, 241 Republicans and 120 Others for a total of 608 respondents statewide. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters.  Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.

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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.

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.

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.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Releases 2019 Legislative Report Card

98 Lawmakers Earn A’s and B’s; 59 Earn C’s, D’s, and F’s

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 21, 2019) – Ninety-eight members of the Florida Legislature earned A’s or B’s on the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Legislative Report Card, and helped lower the cost of living and cost of doing business on families and job creators, while also preparing for future growth and protecting Florida’s constitution, the state’s leading voice of business and largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and business association partners announced today.

Many lawmakers earned higher grades this legislative session with their renewed focus on important competitiveness issues like:

  • Property insurance, lawsuit abuse, regulatory and targeted tax reforms,
  • Innovations in healthcare, and high-quality workforce education and apprenticeship programs, and
  • Key smart growth issues like transportation, energy grid hardening, and autonomous and innovations.

The Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card is an annual opportunity to recognize members of the Florida Legislature who placed making Florida more competitive through private-sector job creation, above special interests and their attempts to protect the status quo.

KEY DATA POINTS:
After tabulating more than 4,000 votes cast during the 2019 Legislative Session, data shows:

  • 98 lawmakers earned an A or B; 59 lawmakers earned a C, D or F.
  • Average GPA for both legislative chambers was 79.37 percent.
  • Senate GPA was 84.59 percent, up from 74 percent in 2018.
  • House GPA was 77.59 percent, down slightly from 79 percent in 2018.

“We believe in transparency and accountability, and the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card is a fantastic tool for families, small businesses, taxpayers and voters to know if their elected officials voted in support of lowering the cost of living and reducing the cost of doing business, while also preparing for Florida’s future,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

TRANSPARENT GRADING PROCESS:
The Florida Chamber’s legislative grading process is both transparent and accountable.

  • The Florida Business Agenda (FBA) was announced during a news conference prior to the 2019 Legislative Session which was attended by bicameral members of the legislature, and dozens of leaders from throughout Florida’s business community.
  • The Florida Business Agenda, outlined in Where We Stand, was hand delivered and mailed to each member of the Florida Legislature.
  • Florida Chamber leadership met with numerous newspaper editorial boards, and legislators and staff in advance of session.
  • Most importantly, prior to each vote graded on the report card, a “Your Vote Matters” letter outlining the pro-business position and the Florida Chamber’s intent to score the vote was transmitted to voting members of the legislature – in total, about 4,000 scored votes letters were transmitted in advance.

Stay Tuned:
The Florida Chamber will soon announce 2019 legislative awards, including Distinguished Advocates and the Florida Chamber’s premier legislative award, the Most Valuable Legislator award. Past winners can be found here.

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2019 Florida Chamber D.C. Fly-In

The Florida Chamber of Commerce advocates at all levels of government – local, state and federal – to ensure Florida is moving in the right direction, and Florida businesses are being heard on the issues that matter to them.

With that in mind, you are invited to join us on May 14-16 for a unique experience in our nation’s capital in support of private-sector job creation, regulatory reform and creating opportunities for economic prosperity. The Florida Chamber’s D.C. Fly-In has tailored a dynamic program with members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation and leaders of federal agencies to advance the Florida Chamber’s policy agenda. 

A tentative schedule, as well as additional information, is shown below for your convenience.

Please contact Dan Tapia at (850) 521-1206 or dtapia@flchamber.com to reserve your space and secure additional hotel information today.

Thank you for your dedication to free enterprise, and to the Florida Chamber. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. May 14-16 for the Florida Chamber’s D.C. Fly-In.

E-Verify Legislation Filed in Senate and House

As 2018 winds down, the 2019 Legislative Session is beginning to take shape as bills are continuing to be filed even as we approach the holidays. One notable piece of legislation that was filed yesterday afternoon is SB 164, sponsored by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville). This bill would mandate businesses to utilize the federal E-Verify program for all new hires beginning as early as 2020.  You can read the legislative text of SB 164 here.  This bill is similar to HB 89 filed in the House by Representative Thad Altman (R-Indialantic).

The Florida Chamber has already reached out to Senator Bean, and as this news article reports, the Florida Chamber will remain engaged in ensuring Florida’s businesses remain competitive, while maintaining a lawful, safe, and productive workforce where Florida job creators are not unduly burdened.

Tell Us Your Thoughts

Please contact Chris Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com or (850) 521-1242 with any feedback on how this legislation would impact your business if signed into law.

Opinion: Florida, and Nation, Need Immigration to Fill Worker Shortage and Fuel Our Economy

Originally Published in the Sun Sentinel, October 22, 2018

 

The Department of Labor recently reported that in August, U.S. businesses had over 7 million unfilled positions. According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, there are about 240,000 open jobs in our state, and fewer than 60,000 people receiving unemployment benefits. These statistics highlight a worker shortage crisis that over time will negatively impact our state and national economies, our ability to generate wealth, and even our national security.

The problem is so severe that if you gather 20 CEOs in a room and ask about their biggest challenge, 18 of the 20 are likely to say it is finding good employees.

How did we get to the place where businesses cannot find the employees they need?

The U.S. economy is enjoying a nearly 10-year run of economic growth that has generated many new jobs. Meanwhile, retiring baby boomers are vacating existing jobs at the rate of 10,000 per day. This combination of economic growth and retiring baby boomers has resulted in a very low unemployment rate, with more jobs available than people qualified to fill them.

Click here to read the complete article in the Sun Sentinel.

Bill Yeargin is CEO of Correct Craft, a marine industry company based in Orlando with six manufacturing plants around the U.S. He also is a member of the Florida Council of 100.

Immigration Reform: Impact on Florida

 

Visit the U.S. Chamber’s website to learn more about immigration reform and to see how reducing legal immigration by 25% would affect the economy and legal immigration in Florida.

Tell CRC: No to E-Verify in State Constitution 

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission is slated to conduct a final vote on Proposal 6010 (formerly Proposal 29) this week, requiring Florida to adopt legislation regarding employment eligibility verification, better known as E-Verify. This proposal is bad for Florida business as it:

  1. Does not belong in the Florida Constitution. Every state that has adopted E-Verify has done so through legislation, not a constitutional mandate. The constitutional amendment process should not be used as a get-around of the Legislature.
  2. Violates federal immigration law. The federal government is granted the authority to handle immigration law, not the states. Imposing penalties upon a business through this proposal is a violation of the federal immigration law.
  3. Would place significant costs on business for little gain. E-Verify is far from perfect and consistently flags lawful employees. The compliance costs, and penalties associated with it, should not be based on this flawed system.

 

Take Action Now

Contact the CRC and let them know that you oppose Proposal 6010 by calling the CRC at 850-717-9550 or emailing CRC commissioners directly. Their emails can be found here, along with talking points and additional information.

Supporting Smarter Immigration Policy

 

Download One Pager    Sign Your Name to Support Smarter Immigration Policy    Learn More About Immigration Reform

 

Why It Matters to Florida

The Florida Chamber supports a consistent federal policy for immigration that protects and compliments Florida’s workforce and growing economy. Immigration reform allows Florida’s international ties in trade to remain strong and provides a valuable population of skilled workers.

With the recent announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Florida Chamber of Commerce encourages Congress and the administration to work together to quickly find a legislative solution before the program expires. Without a legislative solution 800,000 DACA recipients will lose
their ability to legally work, and study, leaving many Florida employers, workers, and
students without certainty.

Immigration reform provides a way to jump start our economy and create jobs in the United States, recognizing that immigrants are key to the economic success of this country. Florida’s economy also relies heavily on tourism, much of which comes from overseas. Streamlining processes that welcome visitors to Florida will help create a globally competitive state.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

Supporting a consistent federal policy of immigration that avoids undue burden to Florida’s employers and doesn’t harm Florida’s economy will help move our state forward. Florida’s economy depends on strong international relationships for its
trade, manufacturing and agriculture industries. A consistent federal policy will help Florida’s employers avoid undue burdens and costs.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

As a leader of Florida’s business community, we must continue to fight for a system that enables employers to fill the talent gap by taking advantage of all available skilled workers. We must continue to urge Congress to take up and pass comprehensive immigration reform measures that help to grow our economy. By supporting the continuation and expansion of both temporary and permanent visa programs for both highly skilled workers and low skilled workers, we can create a streamlined process for employment-based visas and immigration and border management systems that allow legitimate business and tourist travel across U.S. borders.

Act Now

Join us in supporting reforms that will improve our competitiveness, attract and retain the best talent and the workers we need, secure our borders and keep faith with America’s legacy as an open and welcoming society.

Overall Voters Feeling Good About Florida’s Direction, But Undecided In 2018 Governor’s Race

TALLAHASSEE, FL (January 11, 2018) – A majority of Florida voters believe Florida is headed in the right direction, according to the latest statewide political poll released by the Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI).

In its first statewide poll of the New Year, 56 percent of likely voters believe Florida is headed in the right direction. Although the majority of voters approve of Florida’s direction, the views differ based on party. Republicans are especially optimistic at 76 percent, more than half of NPA’s (56 percent) believe Florida is moving in the right direction, while less than half of Democrats (34 percent) believe Florida is headed in the right direction.

More than half (57 percent) of all registered voters approve of Governor Rick Scott’s job performance. Among parties, Republicans overwhelmingly approve of his performance by 82 percent, while 30 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of NPA’s approve.

Ten months before electing a new Governor, voters from both parties are beginning to consider which candidates they will support, although there are more undecided than decided candidates.

Among candidates on the Democrat ticket, Gwen Graham leads with 14 percent, however 64 percent of voters remain undecided. Philip Levine garners 7 percent, Andrew Gillum garners 6 percent and Chris King garners 1 percent.

On the Republican ticket for candidates, 23 percent support Adam Putnam and 18 percent support Ron DeSantis, while 50 percent are undecided.

 

“Voters will elect a new Governor, all new members of the Florida Cabinet and 140 members to the Florida House and Senate. It’s still very early in what will be a busy 2018 election cycle. In the coming months, voters will begin to take a much closer look at the candidates for office,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

 

On the issues that matter to voters, education tops the list at 17 percent, followed by jobs and the economy at 13 percent and healthcare at 12 percent. Immigration and global warming remain a concern – garnering 5 percentage points each. While issues like guns, terrorism and marijuana barely register among voters.

When considering constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot, Amendment 1 would pass if voted on today, while Amendment 2 is inching closer to the 60 percent threshold for passage.

Amendment 1 calls for increasing the homestead exemption:

  • 61 percent of voters support increasing the homestead exemption for homeowners.
  • 69 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of NPA’s and 52 percent of Democrats support increasing the homestead exemption for homeowners.

Amendment 2 would make a 10 percent cap on annual non-homestead property tax increases permanent:

  • 54 percent of likely voters support making the 10 percent cap on annual non-homesteaded property tax permanent.
  • 58 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of NPA’s and 50 percent of Democrats support making the 10 percent cap on annual non-homesteaded property tax permanent.

Beyond the Florid Chamber’s political polling, voter registration indicates interesting trends:

  • 42 percent of all new voters registered since January 1, 2018 are registering as NPA’s
    • 27 percent are registering as Democrats
    • 27 percent are registering as Republicans
  • 54 percent of new Hispanic voters are registering as NPA’s
    • 32 percent are registering as Democrats
    • 14 percent are registering as Republicans

 

ABOUT THIS POLL:  The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on January 2-5, 2018 by Voter Opinions during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/-4 percent. The sample size included 235 Democrats, 259 Republicans and 106 Others for a total of 600 respondents statewide. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters.  Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.

 

 

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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.

 

 

Florida Chamber Supports Smarter Immigration Policy

 

Download Letter    Add Your Name     Immigration Policy

 

There’s a lot going on in Washington, D.C., and one specific area within immigration is the fate of 800,000 children in a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). I want to share with you a letter of support the Florida Chamber of Commerce has sent to Florida’s Congressional Delegation.

 

America is the land of opportunity, freedom and earned success.  Diversity is a uniquely American value and it is a privilege to be an American citizen.  We are a nation of laws as well as a nation of immigrants.

With the recent announcement ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Florida Chamber of Commerce respectfully encourages Congress and the administration to work together to quickly find a legislative solution before the program expires.  Without a legislative solution, 800,000 DACA recipients will lose their ability to work and legally study, and it will leave many Florida employers, workers and students without certainty.

Florida is a proud leader in private-sector job creation as well as forward looking policy decisions. Florida is inextricably connected to the global economy and we are actively growing and securing our future. Florida’s nearly $1 trillion GDP will see private-sector job growth of two million new jobs by 2030. Immigrants have made positive contributions to Florida’s economic growth, fueling Florida’s entrepreneurial spirit, creating jobs, diversifying our economy and have provided global competitive advantages that have helped make Florida a recognized international business center.

Decades of unsuccessful immigration policy has created an environment for positive change. The Florida Chamber believes Congress and the administration should work in a bipartisan effort to provide clear direction and leadership for the hard working, law abiding, established individuals in our communities under the DACA program. However, we do not support illegal immigration or a pathway to citizenship for convicted felons.

The Florida Chamber supports an earned pathway to citizenship for immigrants that pass criminal background checks as well as supports policies that reduce illegal immigration and improve on border security.

 

 

 

The Facts Are Clear:

  • There are approximately 800,000 DACA individuals.
  • In Florida, voters overwhelmingly support – by 82 percent – allowing DACA recipients to remain in the United States.
  • Regarding citizenship, 85 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Independents (NPAs,) and 59 percent of Republicans support a pathway to citizenship.

 

The Florida Chamber stands ready to work with you and the administration toward a constructive solution that is in the best interest of Florida and the nation’s economy.