New Florida Chamber Statewide Poll Shows Strong Voter Support for COVID-19 Liability Protections for Florida Businesses

By: Florida Chamber of Commerce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Megan Sweat, Media Relations Manager
msweat@flchamber.com
850.521.1258

New Florida Chamber Statewide Poll Shows Strong Voter Support for
COVID-19 Liability Protections for Businesses

TALLAHASSEE, FL (January 28, 2021) – The latest Florida Chamber statewide poll shows likely Florida voters overwhelmingly support COVID-19 liability protections for businesses if the business made efforts to follow governmental public health guidelines, with 74 percent favoring protections.

“Florida has the fifth worst legal climate in America and now is the time to safeguard local businesses from billboard trial lawyers trying to leverage the global pandemic for their own profit,” said Mark Wilson, President & CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Florida Chamber has been unifying Florida’s business community and leading the fight for COVID liability protections. At the onset of the pandemic, the Florida Chamber started having conversations with our members across Florida, lawmakers, and the Executive Branch about the need to support liability protections for Florida businesses that are working hard to reopen their doors safely while following public health protocols and guidelines. COVID liability protections would allow employers to do their part to relaunch Florida’s economy without the concern of being forced to defend themselves against a new wave of frivolous lawsuits.

“Voters have spoken and fully support COVID liability protections for Florida businesses who are doing right by their employees and customers,” said Nick Catroppo, Vice President of Political Operations at the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “We hope the Legislature listens to their constituents and passes this important legislation.”

Both the Florida Senate Judiciary and House Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee have heard testimony from the Florida Chamber during hearings for SB 72 and HB 7.

The Florida Chamber applauds Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Lawrence McClure for prioritizing COVID liability and filing SB 72 and HB 7. Further, we commend Senate President Wilton Simpson and Speaker Chris Sprowls for their early action on this issue at the beginning of the interim committee weeks. Their leadership is a step in the right direction as Florida’s economy continues to rebound. Although Florida has 419,000 fewer jobs today than we did a year ago, Florida job creators have created over 700,000 jobs since last April.

The bills currently exclude healthcare providers and institutions, but the Florida Chamber is fighting for the extension of protections to all frontline employers and workers in the healthcare community to ensure they can continue saving lives without fear of facing frivolous lawsuits.

Furthermore, when liability protection is extended to include doctors, hospitals and nursing homes, support increases to 78 percent – an additional four points. Floridians realize the brave work being done by healthcare professionals and want to make sure they are protected from unnecessary litigation from personal injury trial lawyers who advertise on TV.

Florida’s economic relaunch and future hinges on the right policies passing that will help Florida’s economy continue to recover after the harmful impacts caused by a global pandemic, which is why the Florida Chamber is aggressively advocating for COVID liability protections.

Governor Ron DeSantis is earning strong approval ratings from likely Florida voters, according to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce poll. A majority of likely voters – 54 percent – approve of the job that Governor Ron DeSantis is doing.

Further, as COVID-19 has affected everyday life in our country and world, we find Floridians are very willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine once available with more than 7 out of 10 voters saying they will take the vaccine when eligible.

Looking deeper into the numbers, voters over the age of 60 are even more willing to take the vaccine, with 82 percent indicating they will take the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available and only 14 percent stating they are unlikely to take the vaccine.

ABOUT THIS POLL:  The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on January 14-22, 2021 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. The sample size included 249 Democrats, 256 Republicans and 105 Others for a total of 610 respondents statewide.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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.