COVID-19: Number of Cases in Florida

Mark Wilson: Florida Chamber COVID-19 Resource Center

These are undoubtably unprecedented times for all, but the Florida Chamber is uniting Florida’s business community for good. Your safety, and the health of your employees is essential. We’re in constant contact with the Governor’s office, and we’re committed to providing you with daily updates as we meet this challenge head-on.

Please share this message with other business leaders, and encourage them to sign-up to receive their personal copy, and remember you can always get the latest updates from the Florida Chamber’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

Have questions or want to share information, contact our COVID-19 point of contact Greg Blose at gblose@flchamber.com.

Sen. Joe Gruters Supports Closing the Internet Sales Tax Loophole

Lawsuit Abuse Goes Under the Legislative Microscope

Taking on Florida’s Bottom 5 Legal Climate

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is turning up the pressure on Florida’s bottom five legal climate, joining Governor Ron DeSantis and legislative leaders in taking steps to build on lawsuit abuse reform successes from last session.

Governor DeSantis is committed to taking on powerful trial lawyer special interests, and he’s got the support of key leaders in the Florida Legislature. Already lawmakers have held a series of hearings focused on common sense solutions to further make Florida more competitive. Representative Bob Rommel, House Civil Justice Subcommittee Chair, has held four workshops addressing Florida Chamber-backed lawsuit abuse reform bills.

Accuracy in Damages

HB 9, also known as “Accuracy in Damages,” continued to advance in the House this week despite efforts by the trial bar to add a poison pill amendment.  The amendment would have allowed the jury to see if the defense had liability insurance, but was defeated handedly after testimony from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and our partners at the Florida Justice Reform Institute.  This bill is now poised to be taken up by the House.  Despite the common-sense reforms to allow a jury to see the amount that is usually and customarily accepted for a medical procedure, the bill is stuck in the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, which is not scheduled to meet again.

Litigation Financing

Lawsuit Lending, or HB 7041, had its last of three committee hearings in the House this week.  The bill adds consumer protections and creates regulations around the lawsuit lending industry, an industry that has cropped up in the last decade.  These high-interest “loans” tend to force plaintiffs not to act in their best interests, and HB 7041 attempts to curb predatory practices by these lenders. 

Bad Faith

In a late session surprise, a committee substitute amendment on bad faith reform was filed to an innocuous insurance bill in the House Commerce Committee.  PCS for HB 895 was further amended to improve the bad faith language in the original amendment, and changes the civil remedy notice process and attempts to fix third-party bad faith.  Florida is one of the few states in the country that allows for third-party bad faith, which costs Florida policyholders an additional $106 per insured vehicle in Florida.  Opponents of the measure have requested that additional committee references be added to slow down the progress of the measure.  

Asbestos Trust Claims

Asbestos Trust Claims continued to move this week with a hearing in the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee. SB 1582 brings transparency to the trust claim process and ensures that claims move legitimately and more quickly through the judicial process.

Motor Vehicle Dealers

Motor Vehicle Dealers zipped through its second of three committee hearings in the Senate this week. The bill clarifies that the dangerous instrumentality doctrine does not apply to loaner vehicles while a car is being serviced by a motor vehicle dealer. This exemption already applies to vehicle leases. Both the House and Senate bill have one committee stop remaining.

The Florida Chamber will continue the fight to improve Florida’s bottom-five legal climate. Now is the time to contact your lawmaker and ask for meaningful lawsuit abuse reform this session.

WHAT LEGAL CLIMATE ISSUES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Lawsuit abuse impacts all Floridians. From job creators to the families that pay more than $4,400 each year in a lawsuit abuse ‘tax.’ Share which legal climate issues impact you the most.

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Protecting Florida’s Constitution: Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls

PCB JDC 20-01, is the latest move in years of efforts by Republican leaders and influential groups, such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce, to limit the initiative process. They argue, in part, that the process can lead to big-money bankrolling constitutional amendments on issues that should be decided by the Legislature,” the Lakeland Ledger reported. Hear Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls discuss the importance of this bill.

Telemedicine Helps Increase Access to Quality Healthcare

Innovations in Healthcare Help Increase Access to Quality Care, Telemedicine is Helping Lead the Way

A value-based healthcare system focused on outcomes is an important part of the overall economic health of Florida. Innovations such as telehealth play a key role in greater access and quality of care.

In the latest Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise podcast, Foley & Lardner’s Nate Lacktman discusses how their Digital Health Industry Team is helping patients around the world with technologically advanced medical services.

Hear Lacktman, Partner and Chair of Foley & Lardner’s national Telemedicine and Digital Health Industry Team and a recipient of the American Telemedicine Association’s Champion award, share how telemedicine is playing a role in health and business benefits.

Don’t Miss Out

We’re uniting Florida’s business community for good. Don’t miss out. Register today to attend the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Fly-In on January 14-15 in Tallahassee. Together, we can create quality healthcare outcomes for Floridians.

Florida Chamber Leading the Fight to Increase R&D Tax Credits

We know research and development (R&D) tax credits are vital for companies like yours.

That’s why the Florida Chamber is uniting Florida’s business community and leading the fight in the state Capitol to increase Florida’s investment in R&D tax credits from $9 million to $50 million. In fact, we want to ensure that Florida doesn’t fall behind other states. At the Florida Chamber, we know the importance of the quality, high-wage jobs that result from R&D tax credits.

With bill sponsor Senator Joe Gruters‘ leadership, together, we can make a difference. The bill (SB 576) still has two committee stops before the real battle begins in early January, when the 2020 Legislative Session begins.

Your Voice is Needed

Make plans now and be part of the difference in helping secure R&D tax credit increases. REGISTER TO ATTEND the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Fly-In on January 14-15 in Tallahassee.

Together, we can create quality jobs by diversifying Florida’s economy.

Thank You Bob Grammig for Your Leadership Serving as Florida Chamber Board Chair

2019 Year in Review

Cost Drivers in Workers’ Compensation

The Three Member Panel recently held a meeting to adopt the 2019 Biennial Report, which details cost drivers related to health care in workers’ comp.  The Three Member Panel, made up of the state Chief Financial Officer’s representative, an employer representative, and an employee representative, received 7 recommendations from the Division of Workers’ Compensation. 

The cost drivers pinpointed by the division included hospital inpatient and outpatient reimbursement, physician dispensing, and repackaged

Florida Blue

$4,442 Reasons to Fix Florida’s Broken Legal Climate

At the 2019 Future of Florida Forum – the “$4,442 Reasons to Fix Florida’s Broken Legal Climate” panel with Florida Justice Reform Institute President @large_williamw, COO of @LegalReform Harold Kim, Representative @TomLeekforFL, and Senate President-Designate @WiltonSimpson.

Harnessing the Free Market To Lift Floridians Out Of Poverty

At the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum, former House Speaker Steve Crisafulli announced the launching of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Prosperity Project, whose goal is to find pathways out of generational poverty and increase prosperity for all Floridians.
Today, more than 3 million Floridians live in poverty—900,000 of whom are children under 18. The Florida Prosperity Initiative’s goal is to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 50 percent by 2030. We will unite the business community to find ways to harness the free market to attack the ten root causes of poverty in the state.

Speaking to one of the biggest policy barriers, Representative Paul Renner addressed the consequences of increasing the minimum wage for Floridians, and how even modest increases can cause Floridians to turn down promotions and pay raises due to the loss of benefits that accompany higher wages.

“Government has often been a barrier to opportunity, a barrier to work and a barrier to the American Dream,” said Representative Renner. “If we could reduce just 10 percent of the poverty roles in Florida, we would see a benefit to the state coffers of between $500 million and $1 billion per year. We’ve spent trillions in the war on poverty, we don’t need to spend trillions more, we need to spend it more appropriately.”

Senator Jeff Brandes and Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown, Shon Hopwood, discussed the importance of offering second chances to Florida’s non-violent offenders and ensuring they have the tools to attain meaningful employment.

“When people get out of prison, we don’t do a great job of preparing people for success or giving them a second chance, particularly in the Google age,” said Mr. Hopwood. “We think when someone’s served their time, they get a second chance, but rarely is that the case. The stigma of their conviction follows them the rest of their lives, especially in the internet age. The business community can play a huge role in criminal justice reform by considering second chance hiring; it will strengthen communities and change lives.”

Get Involved Today

The Florida Prosperity Initiative break the cycle of generational poverty by addressing issues ranging from housing to food security to workforce issues. To learn more about the prosperity project please visit the Florida Prosperity Project website.


Registration will open soon for the Florida Chamber Foundation Prosperity Summit, May 18-19, 2020 in Sarasota. Click here and complete the online form to be notified when Summit registration opens up.

Contact Michael Williams at mwilliams@flfoundation.org for more information on how you can become more involved.

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Don’t Miss Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez at the Florida Chamber Insurance Summit!

Join the Florida Chamber of Commerce for the 2019 Insurance Summit

November 4 – 5, 2019 – JW Marriott Miami
CLE Credits Available

Special Guest Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez

Join members of Florida’s business community, insurance professionals, elected officials and political insiders for interactive discussions on how Florida’s insurance industry is adapting to changes in technology, as well as other emerging issues facing insurers, business leaders and consumers.