Today, the Florida Chamber of Commerce unveiled its 2023 How They Voted. A comprehensive review of what passed this legislative session, what didn’t, and what remains unfinished business, How They Voted reveals the Florida Chamber’s 2023 Legislative Report Card, showcasing grades earned by all 159 legislators in the Florida House and Senate based on their votes during the 2023 Legislative Session, and recognizes the Florida Chamber’s Most Valuable Legislator and Distinguished Advocates.
“Florida welcomes $4.48M per hour, and a unified business community is how we will keep Florida’s economy growing and competitive,” said Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wilson. “I want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, Speaker Paul Renner and the pro-jobs legislators who continued to put Florida’s business climate first by prioritizing the growth of private sector jobs and diversifying our economy.
Representative Tommy Gregory has been named the 2023 Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Most Valuable Legislator, the business community’s premier legislative award, for his leadership in rebalancing Florida’s civil justice system and strengthening Florida’s competitiveness through historic lawsuit abuse reform. As Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Gregory worked tirelessly to ensure the passage of HB 837, a generational lawsuit abuse reform package that will improve Florida’s bottom-five legal climate and reduce the more than $5,000 in lawsuit abuse taxes that each family pays in the form of higher-priced goods and services.
DISTINGUISHED ADVOCATE AWARDS:
In addition, the Florida Chamber awarded 22 Legislators the 2023 Distinguished Advocate Award. 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. For a full description of the leadership each legislator exhibited to earn the distinction, click here.
2023 Distinguished Advocate Recipients:
Senator Jim Boyd
Senator Alexis Calatayud
Senator Nick DiCeglie
Senator Travis Hutson
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo
Senator Corey Simon
Senator Linda Stewart
Senator Jay Trumbull
Senator Clay Yarborough
Representative Alex Andrade
Representative Dean Black
Representative Robbie Brackett
Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera
Representative Wyman Duggan
Representative Tom Fabricio
Representative Griff Griffitts
Representative Tom Leek
Representative Stan McClain
Representative Lauren Melo
House Speaker Paul Renner
Representative Dana Trabulsy
Representative Kaylee Tuck
The Florida Chamber’s 2023 Legislative Report Card is an annual opportunity to recognize members of the Florida Legislature who placed making Florida more competitive through support for free enterprise over 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, more diversified economy.
After tabulating 5,819 votes cast during the 2023 Legislative Session, the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card shows:
- Average GPA for both legislative chambers was 82 percent
- Average Senate GPA was 85 percent
- Average House GPA was 82 percent
Lawmakers who earned high grades this legislative session focused on important competitiveness issues such as:
- Ending Florida’s “Judicial Hellhole” Standing and Improving Florida’s Bottom-Five Lawsuit Abuse Climate: Reduces our lawsuit abuse tax of more than $5,000 that each Florida family pays by aligning several elements of Florida’s civil justice system to most other states, such as reducing the statute of limitations, increasing transparency to juries, and appropriately allocating fault in negligence claims. For more information on this generational legal reform package, click here.
- Affordable Workforce Housing: The “live local” act increases funding for state and local affordable housing programs, relaxes burdensome regulations, and incentivizes the private market to increase the availability and affordability of housing so each Floridian can live in the community in which they work. Greater access to affordable housing will help employers attract and retain a competitive workforce.
- Workforce Development: Continues to build Florida’s talent pipeline by aligning education systems with industry to increase access to work-based learning opportunities such as apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, career and technical education, and on the job training.
- Innovation in Transportation: Builds on the work of the Florida Chamber’s Autonomous Floridainitiative to become the mobility innovation capital of the world by creating a system to grade Florida’s highways for autonomous vehicle use and allows for collaboration, research, testing and market delivery of mobility solutions at the Implementing Solutions from Transportation Research and Evaluating Emerging Technologies (I-Street) lab at the University of Florida.
- Rural Economic Development: Improves access to state and federal financial assistance and economic development programs to boost economic activity in rural communities, which will help meet the 2030 Blueprintgoal of doubling the rural share of state gross domestic product.
- Fiscal Cliff Reform: Encourages a pathway to prosperity by reducing “fiscal cliffs” and phasing in costs for parents that qualify for subsidized health insurance under Kidcare, so they are not choosing between a small increase in their paycheck or health insurance for their child.
- Universal School Choice: Expands school choice so a student’s zip code is not the primary factor determining a student’s opportunity for earned success. The passage of universal school choice ensures every family can choose the best learning environment for their children, which should boost educational outcomes and better position Florida’s current learners to become earners in the 21stcentury global economy
- Paycheck Protection: Brings transparency and accountability around government sector union dues by prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars to collect dues and empowers the Public Employees Relations Commission to certify and decertify unions.
GRADES ARE EARNED USING A TRANSPARENT GRADING PROCESS:
- The Florida Chamber’s legislative grading process is both transparent and accountable.
- The Florida Business Agenda (FBA) was announced in concert with the opening of the 2023 Legislative Session.
- The Florida Business Agenda, outlined in the Chamber’s annual Where We Stand publication was delivered to each member of the Florida Legislature in advance of voting.
- Florida Chamber leadership raised awareness to the legislative agenda through meetings with numerous media, legislators and staff in advance of session, during the interim committee weeks, over the nine-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.
To see the grades received by each of Florida’s 159 Legislators following the 2023 Legislative Session, visit https://reportcard.flchamber.com/.