Workers’ compensation and assignment of benefits (AOB) legislation, along with the importance of preserving Florida’s role in economic development programs take center stage on the latest edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line. Representative Jay Fant shares why it’s important for the Florida Legislature to come up with solutions to these major issues facing Floridians.
“Workers comp is what I refer to as the atomic bomb that went off in all our accounting offices in recent months,” Fant (R-Jacksonville) said. “The Castellanos case was not friendly to businesses and it wasn’t friendly to injured workers either. Our biggest obligation in the legislature is to find a way to address this.”
Fant, a Jacksonville Republican, explained that the influence of trial lawyers is significant this session – with trial lawyers heading the Insurance and Banking Committee as well as the Civil Justice Committee.
“…For the most part the excesses of the trial bar create tremendous problems for our businesses and the assignment of benefit area is one of those areas,” Fant said. “It’s become a runaway unregulated area of the law. That legislation is very difficult and, again, the business community will have to pay very close attention to this progress. We’ve got to get some good outcomes out of it.”
Rounding out the program, Rep. Fant reiterates the need for Florida to retain an active role in supporting economic growth and diversification through targeted incentive programs like Enterprise Florida. As with workers’ comp and AOB, its Florida’s businesses and tax payers that will feel the brunt of the impact should these problems go unresolved, he said.
“The movement against Enterprise Florida is very hurtful for businesses large and small,” he explained. “Small businesses do feed off the larger businesses that we can bring into the state. My great concern is we lose the tax revenue from the larger businesses, the small businesses success that comes from being around those larger businesses, the community coffers that get filled as well as the state’s – the state becomes a lesser competitor.”
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Learn more about where the Florida Chamber stands on workers’ comp reform, assignment of benefits and economic diversification. Join the Florida Chamber’s fight to make sure Florida has the best business climate in America, contact Carolyn Johnson.