Florida Legislature Takes Steps to Keep Florida’s Momentum Going

By: Edie Ousley

Lowers Cost of Living, Reduces Cost of Doing Business, Prepares for Future Growth, Protects Florida’s Constitution and Prepares for Virus’ Impact

TALLAHASSEE, FL (March 19, 2020) – Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature took steps during the 2020 Legislative Session to keep Florida’s momentum going. Lawmakers passed 12 Florida Chamber-backed bills that lower the cost of living, reduce the cost of doing business, prepare for future growth, protect Florida’s Constitution, and recognizes the unprecedented times Florida faces with COVID-19.

“In these unprecedented times, the Florida Legislature took many responsive and responsible actions during the 2020 Legislative Session to strengthen our state. More remains to be done for sure, but for now we must all pull together as Floridians and Americans. We will get thru this and be stronger than ever,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda was supported by hundreds of local chamber members traveling to Tallahassee to meet with their lawmakers, and 144 separate Florida Chamber testimonials before House and Senate committees – all backed by a lobbying and public affairs team of 30 strong.

The Florida Chamber was also instrumental in defeating 23 bills bad for business, including bills that would insert government between employers and employees with all sorts of new employer mandates and create new lines of lawsuits – making Florida’s poor legal climate even worse.

The 60-day legislative session was extended by one-week, in part due to the economic uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus which caused a delay in finalizing the $93.2 billion state budget. Lawmakers filed more than 3,500 bills, and passed 210.

Chief among Florida Chamber-backed legislation that passed this session are bills that:

  • Strengthened Florida’s school choice options to serve even more students,
  • Increased access to healthcare by expanding scope of practice for advanced registered nurse practitioners,
  • Invested in Florida’s economic development and tourism marketing programs,
  • Protected the environment with long-term water quality investments,
  • Ensured Florida remains the Sunshine State, not the ‘melanoma state,’ by preempting scientifically dubious local bans on proven sunscreens,
  • Protected Florida’s Constitution from special interests buying their way onto Florida’s ballot,
  • Invested in Florida’s rural communities with cost-effective economic development efforts, and
  • Fully funded Florida’s affordable housing program.

Meanwhile, not all lawmakers were trying to make Florida more competitive. Some in the legislature tried to create a patchwork of regulations increasing costs on businesses, families and consumers. Additionally, there were a host of attempted mandates on job creators, including misguided wage and employment condition mandates.

And throughout session, the Florida Chamber took on attacks from those that want to make Florida less competitive, including government unions, billboard trial lawyers and fringe environmental groups seeking to give the same legal rights you enjoy as a citizen to their local river or lake.

Moving forward, the Florida Chamber once again soon release its Legislative Report Card – a comprehensive report based on over 4,000 individual votes on the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda.

Click here to read the complete Florida Chamber 2020 Legislative Summary.

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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.