Solar Advocates Applaud Overwhelming Legislative Vote for Solar Bills


High Profile Business Groups and Solar Advocates Applaud Overwhelming Legislative Vote for Solar Bills
~SB 90 solar implementing bill passed today; onto Governor~

TALLAHASSEE & STATEWIDE (May 4, 2017)  Today the Florida legislature passed SB 90, legislation that implements Amendment 4, the solar ballot initiative that 73% of voters supported last August. Amendment 4 provides Florida homeowners and businesses an exemption from burdensome property taxes on solar and renewable energy devices. Bills to implement Amendment 4 passed unanimously in both the Senate and House chambers, with support from a broad coalition of business groups, the solar industry, and clean energy advocates. Below are statements from statewide associations and Vote Solar in response to the passage of the legislation.

“Last August, Florida voters called for solar progress in one of the most popular amendments in the Sunshine State’s history,” said SCOTT THOMASSON, Southeast Director at Vote Solar. “We applaud Senator Jeff Brandes and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues for their leadership in working with all sides to pass a balanced bill that respects the will of the voters they serve while also protecting customers. Now, it’s up to Governor Rick Scott to honor the voters’ overwhelming support for solar development and deliver on the promise of more jobs and energy choices across Florida.”


“With technological advances, energy opportunities for Floridians are increasing, and now families and job creators will benefit from a targeted tax break on solar panels,” said DAVID HART, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber commends Senator Jeff Brandes and lawmakers for helping Florida achieve energy independence while also strengthening Florida’s economy.”


“The Florida Retail Federation commends the legislature for answering the will of the voters and passing SB 90 which implements solar Amendment 4,” said SCOTT SHALLEY, President of the Florida Retail Federation. “Thanks to bill sponsors Senator Jeff Brandes and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues retailers throughout the Sunshine State will be able to take advantage of this great solar energy policy.”


“A victory lap to the finish line on solar energy today. The Florida legislature passed a bill to implement what 2 million voters called for last election cycle in Amendment 4,” said JULIO FUENTES, President of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Our members include more than 604,000 Hispanic owned small businesses who support energy diversity and thank the legislature for their excellent work.”


“Tourism is Florida’s leading industry. Visitors and residents alike, will benefit from the energy savings resulting from the passage of this legislation,” said RICHARD TURNER, General Counsel and Vice President of Government Relations for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “The hospitality industry is excited to support our lawmakers’ smart policies that promote sustainability and diversify our energy grid.”


Republican lawmakers worked closely with clean energy and jobs advocates, including Vote Solar, the Solar Energy Industries Association, Advanced Energy Economy, and The Alliance for Solar Choice, to craft a bill that best serves Florida businesses and residents. The final bill has earned praise from a range of business, consumer and environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Florida Conservation Voters, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.



Politicians, Parties and Plaintiff Trial Lawyers are Unknown or Unliked in New Florida Chamber of Commerce Statewide Poll

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (August 24, 2016) – The latest Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) statewide poll shows Floridians either don’t know or don’t like politicians that will appear on their ballot, the parties they represent and the plaintiff trial lawyers that financially back many candidates.

With 12.3 million registered Florida voters, hundreds of thousands of which are newly registered since the last presidential election, and 40 new state senate districts that Florida voters will vote in for the first time, this remains one of the most unprecedented elections.

“A week sounds like a short time, but it can be a lifetime for a campaign and provide candidates the opportunity to make solid gains that can improve their outcome. It’s unusual to see this many undecided voters this close to the election, but for candidates, its good news. They still have time to move the voters,” said MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President of Government and Political Relations.

Politicians, Parties, and Plaintiff Trial Lawyers are Unknown or Unliked


Key Facts About Florida Voters:

  • Jobs and the economy remain the number one concern among Florida voters at 21 percent, followed by education and schools at 13 percent.
  • 39 percent of Florida voters believe their families’ current financial situation is better today than a year ago, with 37 percent saying about the same.
  • Florida voters are virtually evenly split on how they feel on whether Florida is moving in the right direction – 40 percent right direction and 41 percent wrong direction.


Head-to-Head Matchups:

Presidential Election:
Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton 44 percent to 43 percent in the head-to-head General Election matchup. The Florida Chamber Political Institute poll shows Trump leads even more when third party candidates are added to the mix. Trump leads Clinton’s 44 percent to 41 percent with Libertarian Gary Johnson pulling 9 percent of the vote.

  • Donald Trump 44%
  • Hillary Clinton 43%
  • Someone Else 7%
  • Undecided 5%

Presidential Ticket:

  • Donald Trump/Mike Pence 44%
  • Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine 41%
  • Gary Johnson/Bill Weld 9%
  • Someone Else 2%
  • Undecided 4%

U.S. Senate:
Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy are each headed to comfortable wins to secure their party nominations.

  • Republican Ticket:
    Marco Rubio beats Carlos Beruff 68% to 19% with 10% undecided.
  • Democratic Ticket:
    Patrick Murphy beats Alan Grayson 40% to 11% with 38% undecided.

According to Florida Chamber of Commerce Senior Director of Campaign and Elections Andrew Wiggins, despite Trump’s small lead statewide, his current unfavorable rating may pose problems in certain state and local races.

“The data clearly shows that Donald Trump’s name recognition may impact republican candidates down ballot – particularly in large metropolitan South Florida areas. And, digging deep into the numbers, Trump continues to trail Hillary Clinton in South Florida, trailing by 19 points in Miami-Dade and by 15 points in West Palm Beach,” ANDREW WIGGINS explained.

Amendment 4:

If the election were held today, it appears almost 70 percent of voters would support the passage of Amendment 4 on the August 30 primary ballot and which unlocks the value of solar for Florida businesses and communities by removing the ad valorem taxes that solar installations carry on commercial properties under current law.

  • Yes 70%
  • No 14%

“Amendment 4 on the August 30 primary ballot will bring more solar jobs to Florida and help diversify our energy grid,” said SENATOR JEFF BRANDES (R – St. Petersburg, FL). “This poll shows a broad bipartisan support for solar in Florida, and everyone regardless of party affiliation should vote YES on or by August 30.”

Daily absentee and early voting (EAV) data shows that 1,153,497 Florida voters have already voted for the August 30th primary election. EAV is a major part of today’s elections, and the Florida Chamber is providing daily EAV reports broken down by county and legislative district. Click here to access the report – updated each day before 4 p.m.


The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on August 17-22, 2016 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/-4 percent. The sample size included 258 Democrats, 249 Republicans and 101 Others for a total of 608 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.