Amendment 1 Guarantees Solar Energy Choices Will Be Part of Florida’s Energy Future

Florida is growing by nearly 1,000 residents every day. At this rate, our researchers estimate Florida will add six million more residents by 2030.

Florida’s infrastructure, which includes water, transportation, communications and energy, needs to keep up with demand and we need to ensure our legislative framework provides the tools needed to secure Florida’s future.

When voters go to the polls during the November 8th General Election, they will have an opportunity to create a permanent legislative environment to adapt to changing energy technology and consumer choices with Amendment 1.

For years, Florida’s Constitution has been the target of out-of-state and special interests who want to embed their outside influence on Florida’s future.

Understanding that Florida’s Constitution can be amended five different ways, Florida’s process to make permanent constitutional changes is often more of an art than science.

Yet out-of-state special interests are now working to chip away at Florida’s amendatory process, and working to leave a permanent footprint on the everyday lives of Florida’s families and businesses.

With that in mind, I believe it’s important that we take a closer look at proposed amendments and the policies they contain. When it comes to Amendment 1, the Florida Chamber believes solar energy is an important component of our future energy choices, and we fully support the policies contained in Amendment 1 on the General Election ballot.

In the case of Amendment 1, a strong argument can be made that voters passing this amendment now is a smart way to depoliticize the important solar energy debate for decades to come.

As the Florida Chamber has warned, there are well-funded special interests groups and billionaires with agendas that seek to pass mandates that would dramatically increase electricity costs and limit Florida’s competitiveness. Therefore, although we don’t necessarily support the process, the concepts in Amendment 1 are needed and will provide an important framework to protect consumers and increase choices for Florida’s businesses and consumers.

As Florida Chamber polling consistently shows, it appears voters want solar energy as an option, and they believe the legislature is the best place to make future policy decisions. Amendment 1 essentially guarantees that solar energy will be part of Florida’s future energy portfolio and it also ensures that, as technology and American’s regulatory climate changes, the framework for future decisions rests squarely where it belongs – with the Florida Legislature.

While the Florida Chamber may have a long-standing policy of refraining from supporting concepts that could be handled through statutes, a strong argument can be made that Amendment 1 is needed to set up a permanent framework for legislative solutions now and for decades to come.

I believe Amendment 1 will pass and, when it does, the Florida Chamber of Commerce will be at the table to urge the legislature to continue establishing a framework that creates reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy solutions for decades to come.

DID YOU KNOW:

According to the latest Florida Chamber Political Institute statewide poll, if the election were held today, it appears more than 65 percent of voters would support the passage of Amendment 1 which protects the rights of electricity consumer regarding solar energy choice.

SHARE WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES TODAY: WHO VOTES DECIDES WHO WINS

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Visit FloridaWins.Org to learn more about the candidates, and make your plans to vote November 8th.

New Florida Chamber of Commerce Statewide Poll Shows Presidential Race Too Close to Call in Florida

 

Rubio/Murphy Locked in a Tight Race; Amendments Would Pass if Election Were Today

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (September 26, 2016) – As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump make final preparations for their first presidential debate tonight, the latest Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) statewide poll shows the presidential race too close to call. Florida remains a tossup state between Clinton and Trump.

“Floridians don’t like either candidate at the top of the ticket, therefore it’s important that both candidates work to connect with voters tonight when they will have the nation’s attention during the presidential debate,” said MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President of Political Operations. “Presidential debates offer candidates an opportunity to make solid gains and to improve their outcome at the ballot box. I believe Floridians will be watching the candidates closely to learn more about them, and to help determine which way they will vote.”

In addition to their dislike of Clinton and Trump, Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy are locked in a tight race, while political parties and billboard trial lawyers continue to be disliked by voters.

 

Politicians, Parties, and Plaintiff Trial Lawyers are Mostly Disliked:

poling_092616

 

Key Facts About Florida Voters:

  • Jobs and the economy remain the number one concern among Florida voters at 19 percent, followed by education and schools at 12 percent.
  • Florida voters are more optimistic that Florida is moving in the right direction – 44 percent right direction and 36 percent wrong direction.

 

Head-to-Head Matchups:

Presidential Election:
While Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 45 percent to 42 percent in the head-to-head General Election matchup, the Florida Chamber Political Institute statewide poll shows Clinton’s lead shrinks when third party candidates are added to the mix. Clinton leads Trump 43 percent to 41 percent with Libertarian Gary Johnson pulling 8 percent of the vote.

 

Presidential Ticket:

  • Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine 43%
  • Donald Trump/Mike Pence 41%
  • Gary Johnson/Bill Weld 8%
  • Someone Else 2%
  • Undecided 5%
  • Refused 1%

 

South Florida Problem:

  • Trump continues to struggle in South Florida, trailing nearly 20 points in each media market.
    • In a head-to-head race, Clinton leads Trump 56 percent to 25 percent in Miami, while in a three-way race including Gary Johnson, Clinton leads 56 percent to 31 percent for Trump and 3 percent for Gary Johnson.
    • In a head-to-head race, Clinton leads Trump 53 percent to 32 percent in West Palm Beach, while in a three-way race including Gary Johnson, Clinton leads 52 percent to 34 percent for Trump and 5 percent for Johnson.

 

Demographics:

  • Hillary Clinton is helped with her commanding lead among Hispanic voters.
    • In a head-to-head race with Trump, Clinton leads among Hispanic voters 53 percent to 30 percent.
    • In a three-way race including Gary Johnson the Libertarian, Clinton leads among Hispanic voters 49 percent to 30 percent for Trump and 12 percent for Johnson.
  • Hilary Clinton has an impressive lead among African American voters.
    • In a head-to-head race with Trump, Clinton leads among African American voters 89 percent to 4 percent.
    • In a three-way race including Gary Johnson the Libertarian, Clinton leads among African American voters 88 percent to 4 percent for Trump and 1 percent for Johnson.
  • Donald Trump has a strong lead among White voters and it does not move much when adding a third party
    • In a head-to-head race with Clinton, Trump leads among White voters 51 percent to 35 percent.
    • In a three-way race including Gary Johnson the Libertarian, Trump leads among White voters 51 percent to 34 percent for Clinton and 8 percent for Johnson.
  • A gender gap still exists – Trump leads among men and Clinton is dominating among women
    • In a head-to-head race with Clinton, Trump leads among men 47 percent to 42 percent, and in a three-way race he leads with men 45 percent to 41 percent to 9 percent for Gary Johnson.
    • In a head-to-head race with Trump, Clinton leads among women 47 percent to 37 percent, and in a three-way race, Clinton leads with women 46 percent to 38 percent to 7 percent for Johnson.
  • Clinton and Trump each do equally well with their bases
    • Clinton earns the support of 78 percent of Democrats in a head-to-head with Trump and 76 percent of Democrats in a three-way contest with Gary Johnson.
    • Trump earns the support of 76 percent of Republicans in a head-to-head with Clinton and 76 percent of the vote in a three-way contest with Gary Johnson.
  • Clinton leads Trump among voters from minor parties or who are unaffiliated
    • In a head-to-head race with Trump, Clinton leads among other parties 47 percent to 38 percent.
    • Clinton increases her lead slightly among other parties 45 percent to 35 percent over Trump, with Gary Johnson receiving 9 percent among voters from minor parties or who have no party affiliation.

 

U.S. Senate:
Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy are locked in a race that will be tight until Election Day.

  • Marco Rubio 46%
  • Patrick Murphy 42%
  • Undecided 11%
  • Refused 1%

 

Demographics:

  • Marco Rubio continues to lead Patrick Murphy as he has in every FCPI poll – a credit to his strength among demographic groups.
    • Rubio leads Murphy 46 percent to 43 percent among Hispanic voters
    • Murphy leads Rubio 79 percent to 11 percent among African American voters
    • Rubio leads Murphy 53 percent to 35 percent among White voters
    • Rubio leads Murphy with men and barely trails him among women
      • Rubio leads Murphy 49 percent to 41 percent among men.
      • Murphy only leads Rubio by 2 points among women, 44 percent to 42 percent.
    • Rubio’s lead among votes from other parties mirrors his lead in the general election (4 percent). Rubio leads Murphy 42 percent to 38 percent among voters from minor parties or who have no party affiliation.

 

Amendment 1:

If the election were held today, it appears more than 65 percent of voters would support the passage of Amendment 1 which protects the rights of electricity consumers regarding solar energy choice.

  • Yes 66%
  • No 16%

 

“The Florida Chamber supports the solar energy policies in Amendment 1 and it appears Florida voters do too,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

 

Amendment 2:

If the election were held today, it appears more than 70 percent of voters would support the passage of Amendment 2 which permits the use of marijuana for debilitating medical conditions.

  • Yes 73%
  • No 22%

 

Amendment 3:

If the election were held today, it appears more than 85 percent of voters would support the passage of Amendment 3 which provides a tax exemption for totally and permanently disabled first responders.

  • Yes 85%
  • No 7%

 

Amendment 5:

If the election were held today, it appears 80 percent of voters would support the passage of Amendment 5 which provides a homestead tax exemption for certain senior low income, long term residents.

  • Yes 80%
  • No 9%

 

 

ABOUT THIS POLL:
The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on September 15-20, 2016 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/-4 percent. The sample size included 263 Democrats, 250 Republicans and 104 Others for a total of 617 respondents statewide. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters.  Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.

 

 

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Florida Chamber Unveils 2015 Legislative Report Card

Missed Opportunities and Philosophical Differences Lead to Fewer Votes
Cast On Issues That Could Have Made Florida More Competitive

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (July 7 , 2015) – Following the 2015 regular and special legislative sessions, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today is releasing actual grades earned by all members of the House and Senate on the Florida Chamber’s 2015 Legislative Report Card. The grades reflect fewer scored votes cast than previous years on issues that would have made Florida more competitive – especially in the areas of healthcare, water policy, lawsuit abuse reform and taxpayer funded pension reform. Although this year will be remembered as the year the legislative process missed major opportunities, the Florida Chamber thanks Senate President Andy Gardiner and Speaker of the House Steve Crisafulli for not allowing new lawsuits, new taxes or more regulations.

After tabulating more than 3,384 votes cast during the 2015 regular and special legislative sessions, nearly 54 percent of state lawmakers earned an “A” (90-100) on the priority pro-jobs issues outlined in the Florida Chamber’s 2015 Business Agenda. 3,384 actual scored votes is approximately only half of the scored votes as in previous years.

The Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card is an annual opportunity to honor and recognize members of the Florida Legislature who placed making Florida more competitive through private-sector job creation above special interests attempts to protect the status quo.

“Despite philosophical differences, lawmakers passed 20 Florida Chamber-backed measures during the two recent legislative sessions,” said Steve Knopik, Chair of the Florida Chamber and CEO of Beall’s, Inc. “Unfortunately, there were a number of missed opportunities, resulting in fewer votes taken on issues that could help make Florida more competitive.”

The Florida Chamber’s 2015 Legislative Report Card is an online tool that illuminates grades legislators earned based on their support of pro-jobs, pro-business issues during the annual legislative session.

Poll after poll shows that Floridians are concerned about the job the Congress and the Florida Legislature are doing. The latest Florida Chamber voter poll shows 41 percent of voters disapprove of the job lawmakers are doing, while 40 percent approve, compared to 70 percent of Florida voters who disapprove of the job Congress is doing.

“The Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card lets Florida’s families and small businesses know if legislators voted in favor of job creation and a stronger economy, and provides them with valuable information as they begin to consider the 2016 election cycle,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber.

Building on the Florida Chamber’s multi-year competitiveness agenda, this year the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott approved more than $400 million in targeted tax relief, championed education reforms for a globally competitive workforce, invested in infrastructure and transportation, strengthened Florida’s economic development efforts, implemented Amendment 1 and made strides to address Florida’s forthcoming doctor shortage.

Analytics From the Florida Chamber’s 2015 Legislative Report Card Reveal:

  • 20 Senators earned an “A” – remaining steady from 2013 and 2014,
  • 61 Representatives earned an “A” – down from 71 last year, and
  • Grade Point Average for Representatives was 83 percent and 89 percent for Senators – down from 87 percent and up from 88.7 percent respectively last year.

The Florida Chamber entered the 2015 Legislative Session by encouraging lawmakers to focus on making Florida’s business climate more competitive and lowering the cost of living for Florida’s families and small businesses. The Florida Chamber’s agenda for jobs, Where We Stand, served as an important roadmap to educate lawmakers on the business community’s priorities.

Lawmakers were also notified prior to each vote impacting the Florida Chamber’s agenda for jobs that their vote would be counted. The tabulated results of each of those votes result in the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card.

While 1,795 bills were filed, and 232 of them passed both chambers, the Florida Chamber has a focused agenda and the actual votes used to calculate the report card are those votes that tie directly to the Florida Chamber’s agenda for jobs. In the past four years, Governor Scott has had a perfect batting average in signing all 104 Florida Chamber-backed bills into law.

“While I wish the regulations process would have allowed more courageous votes, I’m extremely proud of the great work of the Florida Chamber’s Board of Directors, local chambers and the more than 30 lobbyists that have worked aggressively in support of free enterprise and job creation,” Hart said.

Moving forward, the Florida Chamber is already developing its 2016 Business Agenda, and the Florida Chamber’s Political Operations team, under the direction of Senior Vice President of Political Operations Marian Johnson, is actively enlisting pro-jobs, pro-business candidates to run in the 2016 election cycle.

The Florida Chamber will soon release How They Voted 2015, a detailed annual report summarizing the priorities of the recent legislative sessions and incorporating the 2015 Legislative Report Card.

 

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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 Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Leading Capitol Reporters Gary Fineout and Tia Mitchell Provide Session Update Water, Special Session, Budget, Healthcare and Gambling on The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line

Tia Mitchell, State House Bureau Chief with The Florida Times Union, and Gary Fineout, Capitol Press Corp Reporter with the Associated Press, join the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line to give their perspective on Florida’s 2015 Legislative Session. From healthcare issues to the possibility of a special session, Mitchell and Fineout discuss the issues that matter.

 

The Midway Point Assessment:

Gary:

“We haven’t really done very much. There’s a big divide in a lot of places, particularly in the healthcare arena and on the budget. Frankly, as anyone’s whose watched this process knows, the budget is sort of the grease that gets the gears to turn. And as long as there is a big sort of, conundrum, with the budget, it kind of affects the progress of the session. Essentially we are here at the midway point and they’ve only passed, really both sides, have only passed one substantial bill… overall, there’s a lot that has not yet been done.”

On Florida’s Budget:

Tia:

“If you believe what they say, you have to couch that, because again, this is a little bit of posturing, but I do kind of believe what they say, mainly because the House has said for three years straight that they do not want to use federal dollars to expand Medicaid. So you can believe that they really don’t want to do it and that they are dug into that and so far, there has been no compelling reason from the Senate to make them change their mind. But what’s different this year is the Senate says it’s really dug in. Before, the Senate would say ‘hey, we want to expand Medicaid, we did it on our side, they wouldn’t do it on the other side’ and just shrugged it off. This year the Senate is saying ‘no, we think it needs to be done, it’s our highest priority.’ And that’s really different this year.”

On the Possibility of a Special Session:

Gary:

“I see someone is going to have a fairly major retreat, in order for things to be worked out. it’s not that that’s not possible between now and the end of the session but it just doesn’t seem that’s where we’re going. The situation is basically, when you have a top person in the House, which is the budget chairman Richard Corcoran, when you have him get up on the floor and give a passionate speech defending their positions saying that one chamber cannot dictate to anther chamber, that kind of affects the pace and where things will go into the future.”

On Water and Amendment 1:

Tia:

“I think the water debate; the policy is progressing pretty well- they are working on implementing Amendment 1. I see two things happening. I think the environmentalists that pushed Amendment 1 are going to not be happy at the end of the day, because they want much more money spent on purchasing conservation land and the Amendment 1 dollars are going to be spread out for various water issues, various water projects, that don’t all fit under what the Amendment 1 supporters really wanted. The actual projects are going to be a part of the budget debate,  and so we don’t know yet exactly what they are going to use Amendment 1 dollars, the specific projects, but I think there’s going to be a lot more variety than perhaps what the conservation groups would like.

On Healthcare:

Gary:

“I think we can all agree. I think the House as already expressed the thought that they want to do something about access to care. It would not surprise me if the House, as a result of all of this, pushes ahead with several of those issues, especially the scope of practice and nurse practitioners bill. They might want to try to package them all as ‘this is our answer to how to deal with healthcare. And we don’t think that we need to do what you’ve offered in terms of the Medicaid alternative expansion plan that the Senate has crafted, instead we think you should do these other things to improve access.’ And we’ve heard a little bit about that, we’ve heard about the graduate medical education and increasing the number of doctors and things of that nature, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that becomes a part of the mix when all of this is said and done. And as you know, again, Richard Corcoran, the budget chief for the House, has made it abundantly clear that we need to quote ‘challenge the status quo.’ So I can see all of that becoming part of that dynamic and eh dialogue between now and the end of session.”

On Gambling:

Gary:

“I think at this point in time, the main outcome that I could foresee possibly, and I still don’t know if this is guaranteed, is something that just simply allows the status quo to continue as is. I think the Senate has showed that it is potentially interested in that dynamic. In other words passing something that merely says the existing compact kind of stays in place a little while longer.  Is it a year, is it two years, I don’t know the answer to that . But I think you’ve seen the Senate warming up to that. So what does that mean for the House bill? I mean, the House bill still hasn’t passed one committee yet…So I think at this point in time it is kind of hard to imagine that we would have a major gambling bill get passed this year, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think that something still can’t happen between now and May 1.”

 

Tia:

“I just think that the House’s gambling bill, people just thought it was dead on arrival because there’s just so much in it so there’s so much for people to hate. You’ve got the greyhound industry, doesn’t like decoupling- that’s in the bill. You have Disney and the Restaurant and Lodging Association, don’t want destination resorts- that’s in the bill. You have the Seminole Indians, don’t want the compact to go away- that’s in the bill. So there’s so much opposition to that House proposal because it’s so heavy, it’s just kind of sinking under its own weight.”

 

Securing Florida’s Water Future – Legislative Update

The Florida Chamber supports securing Florida’s water future by developing science-based water solutions that encourage the use of alternative water supplies to help promote sustainable economic growth. With that in mind, the Florida Chamber is advocating for lawmakers to include more science-based solutions in their legislation. Below is an update on this issue:

HB 7003

One of the first bills to pass the Florida House this year was HB 7003, a Florida Chamber-backed comprehensive water bill that is science-based. The Senate is currently working the House bill through the process, and the Florida Chamber is encouraging the Senate to adopt the House bill.

Amendment 1

The Florida House is currently proposing to fund Amendment 1 to the tune of $772.1 million. The Senate has proposed a $714.2 million plan for Amendment 1. The amounts aren’t the only difference, however, as a discussion is happening regarding which projects receive funding. The Florida Chamber is urging legislators to use a majority of investment toward water supply and infrastructure to meet current and future need.

Watch and Share This Short Water Video:

Water is an important issue throughout Florida for different reasons. Watch and share this short video with your employees, colleagues and friends and help become a part of Florida’s water solutions.

 

Securing Florida’s Water Future – Legislative Update

At the start of the 2015 Florida Legislative Session, the Florida House developed comprehensive water legislation that addressed issues – such as water supply plans, water quality, the Central Florida Water Initiative, Northern Everglades impacts and springs restoration. With guidance from the Florida Chamber, and the leadership of Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) and Rep. Matt Caldwell  (R-Lehigh Acres), this legislation – HB 7003 – passed the House overwhelmingly on March 5th.

“To ignore the growing demand for, and the quality of,
our water supply leaves our state incredibly vulnerable.”

– Speaker Steve Crisafulli,
Florida House of Representatives

 

HB 7003 is now being vetted in the Senate, a discussion that began earlier this week.

The Florida Chamber supports securing Florida’s water future by developing science-based water solutions that encourage the use of alternative water supplies to help promote sustainable economic growth.

As lawmakers continue to discuss solutions to Florida’s long-term water future and Amendment 1, the Florida Chamber believes:

  • A majority of funding investment be used for water supply and infrastructure to meet current and future need,
  • Florida should receive a better return on investment for land purchases, and can achieve this through conservation easements, which allow the landowner to manage the land,
  • Florida should consider investing in land and water that’s available for public access like hiking and bike trails, and
  • Land buffers around military bases are essential to ensuring Florida remains a military and veteran friendly state, and as such should be protected.

Watch and Share This Short Water Video:

Water is an important issue throughout Florida for different reasons. Watch and share this short video that explains why so much importance is being placed on securing Florida’s water future.

Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line: Sen. Tom Lee Discusses Florida’s Budget, Tax Cuts and More

“We are really fortunate here in Florida that thanks to the [Florida] Chamber of Commerce and a lot of other people who are moving a pro-business agenda forward, our Governor, we are growing revenues here in our state,” said  Senator Tom Lee, Senate Appropriations Chair. “Asset values are up, unemployment is down, things are moving in the right direction- we have an additional billion dollars this year.”

But while Florida is moving in the right direction, our work is far from over.

“There are a lot of opportunities on how we allocate those resources,” said Sen. Lee. “But we have some challenges in the implementation of Amendment 1, and we have teaching hospitals and hospitals that do a lot of unreimbursed care that are being hit by the decision by the CMS on funding out of Washington, so we have to deal with some of those things.”

While the voters spoke on Amendment 1, concerns still remain on the impact of setting a  budget through constitutional mandates, particularly to programs that also used portions of the document stamps tax, such as Affordable Housing and transportation.

“Some of that money was going somewhere else beforehand so we have to find some way to backfill those programs like Affordable Housing and transportation, both of them have a huge multiplier effect on our economy, they create jobs,” explained Sen. Lee. “As we look to solutions to the problems that we are facing with the low income pool going away in our state, trying to find a way to hold transportation and affordable housing harmless is going to be a huge priority.”

At the Florida Chamber, we believe the Governor’s plan for targeted tax reform is good for our economy and is one solution to budgeting challenges- particularly when it comes to communications services tax and the tax on commercial sales leases. In fact, Florida is currently the only state in the nation that charges a communications services tax.

“There are proposals moving through the legislature on a communications services tax and one related to reducing the tax on commercial leases,” said Sen. Lee. “As a landlord in the commercial real estate businesses, that one has particular affinity to me. Both of them are very broad based, both of them will have sweeping impacts across the spectrum of small business and individuals who pay those taxes, whether they are passed down through businesses or directly on their cell phone bills. The question is really going to become- how much money do we have to spend, so how far down that list of priorities that have been set are we going to be able to buy these tax cuts?”

As Florida’s Legislative Session undergoes its third week, Sen. Lee remains hopeful on Florida’s direction.

“Aren’t we fortunate to be in a state where we are talking about cutting taxes in the context of the national government, that’s talking about raising them?”

Florida Wins!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

 Florida Voters Put Jobs & Education First & Believe Florida Is On The Right Track

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (November 4, 2014) – Florida wins at the ballot box on Election Day by putting Florida’s private sector job creation and positive education reforms ahead of the Washington, D.C.-style gridlock, absence of leadership and policy failures, the Florida Chamber announced today.

“Voters saw a clear distinction between Washington’s mismanagement and the positive movement Florida is making with Governor Rick Scott’s focus on private sector job creation and education reforms, and voted to put Florida first,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Voters are smart, and they voted to send a clear message to keep Florida moving in the right direction.”

Voter approval that Florida is on the right track is also a green light for elected leaders to work in a bipartisan fashion to tackle other big issues important to securing Florida’s future:

  • Water & Energy – Preparing now to meet Florida’s growing population demands with a consistent and coherent energy policy and a plan to provide 28 percent more water by 2030.
  • Healthcare – Producing smarter outcomes and bending the cost curve in healthcare.
  • Transportation & Infrastructure – Investing to meet future population needs while improving and expanding major trade and freight corridors.
  • Environment – Working with lawmakers to implement Amendment 1 in a manner that doesn’t take away investments in education, economic development, healthcare and other priority areas.
  • Education – Continuing to reform at all levels of Florida’s education system to help diversify our economy, create job opportunities for future generations and meet the needs of Florida’s businesses.
  • Government Pensions – Modernizing public pensions to create fiscally stable state and local governments.
  • Economic Development – Continuing to focus on growing the private sector while diversifying Florida’s economy.

 

“The Florida Chamber congratulates Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for their victories tonight,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber.

 

GET OUT THE VOTE WAS THE KEY:

“Voter turnout was the key to helping job creators win their respective races,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber’s employer to employee get out the vote program FloridaWins.org was the most aggressive GOTV program in the Florida Chamber’s history. FloridaWins.org made a difference, and I’m grateful to all the employers who made it all possible.”

 

REELECTION OF FLORIDA CHAMBER-BACKED GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT:

“The Florida Chamber congratulates Governor Rick Scott on his reelection, and we look forward to working with Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature to accelerate private sector job growth through even more economic development,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

 

VOTERS AGREE WITH THE FLORIDA CHAMBER, SAY NO TO AMENDMENT 2:

“Legalizing drugs is not the type of business Florida needs. It’s bad for employers and bad for Florida’s brand. The Florida Chamber thanks Mel and Betty Sembler for their vision and courage to stand up against the deep pockets of billboard trial lawyers, and commends former Governor Jeb Bush, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and other leaders for helping defeat this bad idea,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

 

PASSAGE OF AMENDMENT 1:

“The Florida Chamber has long-supported efforts to protect Florida’s natural resources and scenic beauty, including the Florida Forever program and Preservation 2000. While we opposed putting a 20-year spending mandate in Florida’s Constitution, we congratulate the passage of Amendment 1. We look forward to working with the Florida Legislature on a bipartisan strategy to secure Florida’s future while also ensuring it does not compromise investments in education, healthcare and economic development,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER POLITICAL OPERATION RESULTS:

During the 2014 election cycle, the Florida Chamber and its Political Operation team:

Endorsed Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Putnam,

We engaged in 29 primary election races and 62 general election candidates for House and Senate,

  • Invested $7 million in voter education programs, including a TV advertisement,
  • Defeated three trial lawyer candidates for the House of Representatives,
  • Launched the game changing employer to employee www.FloridaWins.org,
  • Engaged in digital and social media get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts,
  • Conducted automated phone GOTV calls,
  • Conducted routine political polling, and more.

A complete listing of 2014 General Election Results, including Florida Chamber-endorsed candidates for Governor, Cabinet, House and Senate are available at www.FloridaChamber.com.

 

 

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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 Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.