TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 18, 2021)— The Florida Chamber of Commerce today released its official 2021 Florida Chamber Legislative Report Card, showcasing grades earned by all 160 legislators in the Florida House and Senate based on their votes during the 2021 Legislative Session.
“Florida’s economy won with the Florida Chamber-backed, pro-jobs policy passed during the 2021 Legislative Session,” said Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wilson. “The actions taken by Governor DeSantis and Florida’s lawmakers will go a long way in continuing to build momentum towards creating the more than 2 million jobs necessary to take Florida from the 17th largest economy in the world to the 10th largest by 2030 and securing Florida’s future.”
Bills passed during the 2021 Legislative Session have poised Florida’s job-creators to continue growing Florida’s economy and investing in Florida’s future. Florida’s legislators rightfully focused on private sector job creation and made significant investments in Florida’s long-term future in the form of targeted funding for Florida’s infrastructure, resilience and budget reserves.
The Florida Chamber’s 2021 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 attempts to protect the status quo. The Report Card also lets Florida families, small businesses, taxpayers and voters know who voted in favor of private sector job creation and a stronger economy.
After tabulating more than 4,931 votes cast during the 2021 Legislative Session, the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card shows:
- Average GPA for both legislative chambers was 79 percent.
- Average Senate GPA was 80 percent
- Average House GPA was 79 percent
- Legislators earned 88 A’s, 13 B’s, 8 C’s, 12 D’s and 39 F’s
Many lawmakers earned high grades this legislative session because of their focus on important competitiveness issues that:
- Protect businesses and healthcare providers from frivolous lawsuits when following government approved safety guidelines
- Level the playing field between out-of-stage online retailers and local, brick-and-mortar businesses by closing the online sales tax loophole
- Prevent an immediate $713M unemployment comp tax increase resulting from the pandemic on job creators as they worked to reopen doors and relaunch Florida’s economy
- Cut the Florida-only sales tax on commercial leases from 5.5% to 2% upon replenishment of the unemployment compensation trust fund
- Further protect Florida’s Constitution from billionaire special interests and returns the citizens’ initiative process to Florida citizens
- Tackle the cost drivers leading to higher homeowners’ insurance rates and instability in Florida’s property insurance market
- Add accountability to early education programs to improve kindergarten readiness and reading competency amongst Florida’s next generation workforce
- Empower the parents of more than 61,000 Florida students to make the best education decisions for their children
- Continue to position Florida as a global leader in autonomous technology adoption
- Protect Florida farmers from frivolous nuisance litigation
TRANSPARENT GRADING PROCESS:
- The Florida Chamber’s legislative grading process is both transparent and accountable.
- The Florida Business Agenda (FBA) was announced prior to the 2021 Legislative Session.
- The Florida Business Agenda, outlined in the Chamber’s annual Where We Stand publication, was mailed to each member of the Florida Legislature.
- Florida Chamber leadership met with numerous media, legislators and staff in advance of session, during the interim committee weeks and over the 9 week legislative 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, letters on 167 different bills or policies were transmitted in advance.
The Florida Chamber awarded 23 Legislators the 2021 Distinguished Advocate Award following another successful legislative session where 22 of our priorities were passed. The Florida Chamber’s Distinguished Advocate Award recognizes lawmakers who ensured consideration of the business community’s legislative priorities and fought tirelessly for the passage of a Chamber-backed policy or a priority piece of pro-jobs legislation.
To see the grades received by each of Florida’s 160 Legislators following the 2021 Legislative Session, visit www.reportcard.flchamber.com.