By: Carolyn Johnson, Sr. Director of Business, Economic Development and Innovation Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce
The Florida 2030 Blueprint guides the creation of the annual jobs & competitiveness legislative agenda, Where We Stand, to align long-term goals with short-term solutions. Below are some examples of how the Blueprint’s 39 goals are in action during the 2022 legislative session.
2030 Blueprint Goal: Rural county share of Florida gross domestic product doubles
HB 685 and SB 800 encourage economic development in Florida’s rural areas by improving rural and economically distressed communities’ access to rural economic development programs. HB 685, by Brad Drake, lowers or removes local match requirements for three state economic development programs and removes barriers to allow for more shovel-ready sites. SB 800, by Senator Ben Albritton, adds to HB 685 by creating a tax refund program for the creation of high-paying jobs in rural communities.
HB 685 is ready to be heard on the House Floor and SB 800 has one committee hearing remaining.
2030 Blueprint Goal: Actuarially sound property insurance rates based on actual risk and competition
Three bills moving through the legislature, SB 186 (Sen. Brandes), SB 1728 (Sen. Boyd) and HB 1307 (Rep. Gregory), propose reforms to Citizens Property Insurance Reform corporation to return the insurer to the insurer of last resort and allow private carriers to be more competitive. Citizens Property Insurance is growing at over 5000 policies a week and because of a statutory cap on premium increases, 99 percent of Citizens homeowners’ policies are charged less than what they would pay in the private market. Simply put, SB 186 and SB 1728 allow private carriers to take policies from Citizens at the time of renewal if the coverage is similar and the new premium is within 20 percent of what the homeowner was paying with Citizens. HB 1307 follows a similar approach as its Senate companions, but increases up to the 20 percent amount over a period of four years. SB 186 also removes the statutory cap on premium increases for secondary homes, allowing for Citizens to charge an actuarially indicated rate on these homes.
HB 1307, SB 186 and SB 1728 all have one committee hearing remaining.
2030 Blueprint Goals: 100% of Florida 3rd graders read at or above grade level & 100% of Florida 8th graders read & perform math at or above grade level
HB 1193, by Representative Rene Plasencia, and SB 1048, by Senator Manny Diaz, replace the end of the year “high-stakes” Florida Statewide Assessment with a state standards-aligned progress monitoring system. The bills will enforce timely notification of all testing results to both teachers and parents to help set a course for student progression throughout the school year and leading up to the summative assessment at the end of the year. This will ensure testing is more responsive to the needs of a student while ensuring parents are better informed of their student’s progress.
SB 1048 is ready to be heard on the Senate Floor and HB 1193 has one committee hearing remaining.
2030 Blueprint Goal: #1 state for overseas visitors
HB 489 and SB 434 extend the mission of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, better known as VISIT FLORIDA, beyond its scheduled October 1, 2023 repeal. As Florida and the world continues to rebound from COVID-19, VISIT FLORIDA is a necessary component in promoting Florida’s tourism brand to national and international travelers.
SB 434 has passed the Senate and HB 489 is ready to be heard on the House Floor.
On an annual basis, the Florida Chamber tracks hundreds of bills and thousands of votes. For a copy of Where We Stand, the Florida Chamber’s annual jobs and competitiveness agenda, click here.