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Florida Legislature Passes Multiple Florida Chamber Priorities, Making Florida Even More Competitive

Florida Chamber sees passage of multiple Chamber priorities that create regulatory certainty, improvements in education and workforce, protect critical infrastructure, further address affordability issues, improve access to healthcare and more as Florida continues its path to be the state other states look to for leadership and economic growth

Florida’s Legislative Session by the Numbers:

  • 1,901 Bills and PCBs filed; over 320 bills passed both chambers
  • Florida Chamber of Commerce testified approximately 150 times on legislation impacting job creators
  • Florida Chamber is analyzing more than 5,700 votes cast by lawmakers and will soon release its annual Legislative Report Card
  • $117.5 billion budget passed (pre-veto)

TALLAHASSEE, FL (March 8, 2024) — The 2024 Florida Legislative Session saw passage of several Florida Chamber priorities and the largest budget in Florida’s history as Florida’s economy continues to surpass revenue expectations and welcomes $4.48M in economic growth per hour, making Florida the top state in the nation for income migration – by far.

“The world continues to watch Florida as it remains the national model for economic growth, quality of life and competitiveness,” said Mark Wilson, President & CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Free enterprise isn’t free, and the Florida Chamber wholeheartedly thanks Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, House Speaker Paul Renner, Governor Ron DeSantis and many in the Legislature for helping move the Florida Chamber’s competitiveness agenda forward again this session as millions of Floridians will be better off because of their leadership.”

The Florida Chamber continues to unite the business community to defend the progress made and continue the momentum gathered over the last year towards several long-standing policy priorities to make Florida more competitive.

“It’s incredible what gets accomplished for Florida when the Florida Chamber unites the business community like we did again this year and I’d like to thank the members of the Florida Chamber, as well as local chambers of commerce and trade associations who joined with us to make Florida even more competitive,” said Keith Koenig, Chairman of CITY Furniture and Volunteer Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Advancing the Florida 2030 Blueprint is our focus, and on behalf of the Board of Directors and members of the Florida Chamber, I’d like to thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for working together to make sure the right things happen in Florida to help local businesses continue to grow and diversify Florida’s economy.”

One of the Florida Chamber’s top priorities this legislative session was to provide regulatory certainty and consistency for local businesses by addressing local policies that have a detrimental impact on local businesses and their employees. As part of our goal to make Florida the safest state in America, the Florida Chamber led the fight for the preemption of inconsistent and dangerous workplace safety standards contained within HB 433 around heat exposure, which became necessary after a county in Florida contemplated a first-in-the-nation, local workplace heat safety standard. Workplace safety compliance already falls to the federal government through the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), including workplace heat exposure. The Florida Chamber has led from the front on the issue of workplace safety through our Leadership Cabinet on Safety, Health and Sustainability and does not believe a patchwork of regulations around the state leads to our end goal – being the safest state in the country. 

Also included in HB 433 was an important provision to proactively eliminate the job-killing and cost-increasing policies we have seen in California, New York, and Illinois from coming to Florida by preventing local governments from mandating how job creators schedule employees, commonly referred to  as predictive scheduling, and interfering in the employer-employee relationship. Finally, HB 433 eliminates the uncompetitive practice of so-called prevailing wage mandates, or the ability of local governments to mandate wages or benefits on private employers beyond what is required by state or federal law through their purchasing or procurement agreements. Employers compete for talented employees in the marketplace, and free states should never be bound by what overreaching governments think is best. Such mandates often increase the costs borne by taxpayers and negatively impact local businesses, especially small businesses who could be priced out of bidding for local government contracts. These two issues were hard fought throughout session, and the Florida Chamber was successful in having these two provisions included in one of the final bills on the final day of session.  

Below are a few highlights of the Florida Chamber-championed legislative priorities that passed this session:

  • Regulatory Certainty for Job Creators: Many states are seeing an explosion in local mandates and ordinances that make communities and America less competitive, and the Florida Chamber wants to protect Florida’s local businesses from this troubling trend. This provides a consistent regulatory environment by prohibiting local governments from adopting a patchwork of heat illness ordinances for outdoor workers and eliminating the ability of local jurisdictions to mandate wages or benefits on private employers through their purchasing or procurement processes that are above what state or federal law requires – commonly referred to as prevailing wages. The bill also prohibits local governments from setting costly predictive scheduling mandates. Inconsistent and potentially conflicting regulations do not lead to safer or more productive workplaces, but rather significant confusion, expense and potentially unsafe conditions for job creators that have employees in multiple jurisdictions.
  • “Live Healthy”: Further addresses Florida’s health care workforce shortages with new opportunities for education, training, and retention and seeks to improve access to care by reducing barriers for providers, such as increasing reimbursement rates and incentivizing providers. According to the Florida Chamber Future of Work Initiative, registered nurses continue to be in the top two most advertised positions across Florida within the past eight months. This workforce shortage limits access to care and diminishes the ability of Florida’s health care system to deliver affordable and effective care. Legislation was also included that was a priority of the Florida Chamber Leadership Cabinet on Safety, Health & Sustainability to create a framework for behavioral health teaching hospitals to develop a workforce necessary to meet increasing need for mental health services.
  • Boosting Educational Outcomes: Expands access to students with deficiencies in reading or math by expanding to the New Worlds Learning Initiative, adding a mathematics component, and increasing access to pre-kindergarten families. The bill helps improve educational outcomes and ensure students are reading or performing math at grade level by providing materials and services that assist in learning. The bill also provides resources to leverage artificial intelligence platforms in the classroom that aid in tutoring and lesson planning.
  • Accessible and Affordable Childcare for Working Families: Expands access to incentivized early learning through the creation of the School Readiness Plus program and ensures families are not choosing between childcare or more earned income. A second provision incentivizes employers to provide childcare for their employees, and the budget includes a provision to incentivize childcare providers to increase availability. According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Untapped Potential in FL report, over 150,000 working parents have quit their jobs to be able to stay home and care for children under the age of six. This legislation seeks to provide a win-win for parents and employers.
  • Availability and Affordability of Housing: Expedites the approval process for residential building permits, which leads to quicker building times and reduced costs. One bill reduces the time frames for local governments to approve, deny, or request additional information on a building permit, and a second bill requires local governments to begin issuing building permits once a temporary plat has been approved. The Florida Chamber predicts Florida will grow by another 2.8 million Floridians by 2030, and these bills will help create certainty as we struggle to keep up with housing demand.
  • Critical Infrastructure and Supply Chain Continuity: Safeguards critical infrastructure against emerging cyber and physical threats by deterring tampering and damage to critical infrastructure, such as electricity, natural gas, wireless communications, water systems, ports, and airports, that are integral to daily life, commercial activities, and the efficient flow of goods and services across the state.
  • Further Stabilization of Florida’s Property Insurance Market: Takes steps to return taxpayer-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to the insurer of last resort and reduces the likelihood of assessments, or hurricane taxes, on all Florida insurance policyholders by allowing approved companies to take out policies from Citizens for properties that are second homes or non-primary residences.
  • Cybersecurity Liability: Incentivizes companies to embrace robust, nationally recognized cybersecurity protocols and standards by offering liability protections if there is a data breach. By incentivizing proactive cybersecurity measures, the bill not only fortifies the resilience of critical infrastructure but also ensures the uninterrupted provision of life-saving services and facilitates commerce.
  • Florida’s Business Rent Tax: As part of the Florida Chamber’s successful advocacy in 2021, as the unemployment trust fund is successfully replenished, Florida’s Business Rent Tax will be reduced from 4.5% to 2% in June. Thanks to the advocacy of Florida Chamber members and our partner associations, local businesses in Florida will see over a $1 billion reduction in their Florida-only business rent tax. We will continue to work with future legislators to eliminate this Florida-only tax.

“The Florida Chamber remains at the forefront as we prepare for Florida’s continued growth and success,” said Florida Chamber Executive Vice President of Government and Political Relations Frank Walker. “Our Florida Chamber team and our key partners fought on the front lines this session, advocating for legislation that will continue leading businesses to position Florida as a global competitor.”

While numerous Florida Chamber-backed, pro-Florida measures passed, several threats to local businesses emerged during session. The Florida Chamber successfully defeated or mitigated efforts to drive additional litigation, create regulatory uncertainty, or increase costs on Florida businesses and families. Further work also remains to secure Florida’s future – from ending the Florida-only business rent tax to addressing the Florida’s highest in the nation medical malpractice rates to continuing efforts to tackle affordability challenges around housing and insurance to ensuring the development of a globally competitive workforce. 

The Florida Chamber team is analyzing thousands of votes and will soon release its annual Legislative Report Card, showcasing grades earned by all 160 legislators in the Florida House and Senate based on their votes during the 2024 Legislative Session. The Florida Chamber 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. 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.

To view the Florida Chamber’s full legislative review of what passed, what was defeated, and what remains unfinished business for next year, click here.



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