TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 23, 2021)— The Florida Chamber of Commerce has awarded Senate President Wilton Simpson with the 2021 Most Valuable Legislator (MVL) award. Leadership has consequences and with President Simpson’s unwavering leadership, the Florida Chamber of Commerce had 22 legislative priorities make it to Governor DeSantis’ desk this Session.
Some key examples why President Simpson has been awarded the Florida Chamber’s MVL include his leadership in the passage of COVID-19 liability protections for Florida business and health care providers, the passage of Florida’s online sales tax reform to level the playing field for Florida’s local retailers, and strengthening Florida’s Unemployment Comp Trust Fund to prevent an immediate $713 million tax increase on employers, while reducing Florida’s Business Rent Tax from 5.5 percent down to 2 percent.
“The Florida Chamber’s close partnership with Senate President Wilton Simpson this year led to 22 Chamber priorities reaching Governor DeSantis’ desk, several of which were legacy issues that have been years in the making,” said Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson. “Further, his steadfast support of Florida’s job creators was also central to preventing several harmful bills from passing both chambers, such as the data privacy bill, which included the trial lawyers’ dream of another new private cause of action.”
The Florida Chamber’s MVL award is the business community’s premier legislative award honoring a single Florida lawmaker for their outstanding legislative leadership in policy that will keep Florida competitive and willingness to stand up for free enterprise. The award is one of the Florida Chamber’s annual legislative awards following Legislative Session. In May, the Florida Chamber announced its 2021 Distinguished Advocate Award winners, recognizing Florida 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.
“Senate President Wilton Simpson is a successful farmer, businessman and a Florida Chamber member who has championed free enterprise since he entered the Senate in 2012,” said Florida Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President of Government and Political Relations David Hart. “For the big wins we shared this Legislative Session and for his close partnership and shared values, the Florida Chamber is pleased to recognize our friend Wilton Simpson as the Florida Chamber’s 2021 Most Valuable Legislator.”
“The same innovation, resilience and spirit of Florida’s businesses that kept our state afloat during the pandemic are leading us back to pre-crisis economic prosperity,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “As a farmer and a business owner myself, I understand first-hand the sacrifices and commitment our business families made to ensure Floridians had the goods, services and safe food supply needed to get through these challenging times, and it was our responsibility to have their backs as we addressed important issues. The Florida Chamber has been a steadfast partner for us as we’ve worked to make Florida the most business-friendly state in the country, and I am grateful to them for this acknowledgement of that partnership.”
The Florida Chamber’s annual publication How They Voted—which includes the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card grades for all 160 legislators so Florida business leaders, families, small businesses, taxpayers and voters know who voted in favor of private sector job creation and a stronger economy—will be released in July.
For more than 100 years, the Florida Chamber has been championing free enterprise. To join the movement of securing Florida’s future, visit www.FLChamber.com.