Florida Chamber of Commerce Unveils 2018 Jobs Agenda
By: Edie Ousley
That Will Continue Strengthening Florida’s Economy, Spur Smart Growth, Create Jobs and Economic Opportunity
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (November 14, 2017) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today unveiled its 2018 Jobs and Competitiveness Agenda – a legislative roadmap that will continue strengthening Florida’s economy, spur smart growth, create jobs and economic opportunity for everyone. The 2018 Legislative Session begins January 9 and the Florida Chamber looks forward to working with Governor Scott, President Negron, Speaker Corcoran and the legislature as we look for opportunities to find common ground to secure Florida’s future.
Recognizing that economic, political and demographic shifts have placed Florida in a fragile position, the Florida Chamber’s 2018 Jobs Agenda is built on the belief that Florida’s best days are far from over, they are yet to come. By reducing the cost of living and cost of doing business, redoubling efforts on workforce, and investing in infrastructure, Florida’s economy will continue to strengthen, and jobs, wages and opportunities will grow for Floridians.
“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, creating economic opportunity and growing jobs,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.
The Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda, outlined in Where We Stand, details 41 legislative recommendations. Among these recommendations to help strengthen Florida’s economy, spur growth, create jobs and lift incomes, the Florida Chamber recommends:
Reducing the Cost of Living:
Floridians currently pay the 6th highest automobile insurance rates, and homeowners are facing up to a 10 percent increase in their property insurance rates. Unchecked fraud and legal scams are known to be contributing to rising insurance rates and the legislature should:
- Put consumer protection first by finally closing the well-known Assignment of Benefits scam that is raising rates.
Reducing the Cost of Doing Business:
Florida’s business community is facing a $1.5 billion impact from workers’ comp rates that remain 14.5 percent higher than they should be.
- The legislature should fix Florida’s workers’ compensation system by addressing the true cost drivers of the system, including attorney fees. Doing so will bring stability to the system and lower unnecessary costs.
Florida’s bottom five legal environment is an open invitation for “gotcha” lawsuits that cost Florida families an average of $3,400 each year in lawsuit abuse costs.
- The legislature should fix Florida’s broken lawsuit climate.
Discouraging and discriminatory tax policies, like the Florida-only business rent tax, are uncompetitive.
- The legislature should build on competitive tax policies, including increasing the Research & Development Tax Credit.
Preparing for the Future:
There are 265,200 jobs looking for people, and 374,000 people looking for jobs. Building 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.
- Redouble efforts on workforce education.
- Expand access to pathways to Florida’s attainment.goals.
By 2030, 5.5 million more people will call Florida home. A growing Florida means a growing need for infrastructure investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, and other hard and soft infrastructure sectors.
- Championing long-term, sustainable water and environmental policies.
- Supporting proactive economic planning and development.
- Championing innovations in all modes of transportation.
- Advocating for efficient and sustainable energy solutions.
Based on input from Florida Chamber members, local chambers of commerce, partner associations, research and unfinished business from 2017, the Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda is a blueprint of legislative priorities that it will lobby, track and score this legislative session.
A complete listing of the Jobs Agenda is available at www.FloridaChamber.com/WhereWeStand.
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.