Florida Chamber Jobs Agenda Seeks Workers’ Comp Fix

As a business leader, you know all too well the fight for free enterprise never ends. The cost of doing business is a daily reminder of the challenges job creators face.

Florida’s business community has faced a $1.5 billion impact from workers’ compensation rates that remain 14.5 percent higher than they should be. Florida’s bottom five legal environment is an open invitation for “gotcha” lawsuits that cost Florida families an average of $3,400 each year in lawsuit abuse costs. And discouraging and discriminatory tax policies, like the Florida-only business rent tax, are uncompetitive.

Despite the economic, political and demographic shifts that have placed Florida in a fragile position, I believe Florida’s best days are yet to come. By reducing the cost of living and cost of doing business, redoubling efforts on workforce and investing in infrastructure, Florida’s economy will continue to strengthen jobs, wages and opportunities for Floridians.

Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been at the forefront of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. And the Florida Chamber’s 2018 Jobs Agenda – reinforced by the united support of Florida’s business community – once again will be the driving force to create economic opportunity and grow jobs.

Legislative leaders, including House Speaker Richard Corcoran, former House Speaker Will Weatherford, more than a dozen members of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives, along with Florida Chamber Board Chair Bob Grammig joined us at Florida’s Capitol recently as we unveiled the jobs agenda, and called on lawmakers to strengthen Florida’s economy, spur smart growth, and create jobs and economic opportunity.

Among the 41 priorities on the 2018 Jobs Agenda is a fix to Florida’s workers’ comp system. By addressing the true cost drivers of the system, including attorney fees, Florida can experience stability to the system and lower unnecessary costs.

See What Others Are Saying

“I think workers’ comp is one of the biggest issues facing the state of Florida, especially if you put it in the context of working families. There is a tremendous amount of pressure for companies, like mine, that provide basic services to keep wages low.” – Senator Keith Perry, Florida Chamber Bottom Line.

 

“A competitive and predictable workers’ comp system that protects workers and job creators is vital to making Florida more competitive. Lawmakers should consider the long-term ramifications for the future of the state if they fail on reform this session.” – Carol Roberts, President and CEO, Bay County Chamber of Commerce.

 

“When it was first developed it had a good purpose. But, by the time you allow government to take over and attorneys to get involved, it has been completely run amuck. – Todd Gates, Southwest Florida Region Chair, Florida Chamber Board of Directors and Founder and Chairman of GATES.

 

The Orlando Business Journal, Florida Politics, WJHG News Channel 7, and more were among those talking about the 2018 Jobs Agenda.

Workers’ Comp Task Force

The 2018 Legislative Session begins January 9, and the Florida Chamber and its Workers’ Comp Task Force will once again be leading the charge to reform Florida’s broken workers’ comp system. As a leader in Florida’s business community, your help is needed.

 

Here are three ways you can help:

  1. Share this message,
  2. Join our Worker’s Comp Task Force, 
  3. Engage with our lead lobbyists on this issue, Carolyn Johnson (cjohnson@flchamber.com) for in-depth legislative details.

As always, thank you for your support of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Despite Rate Decrease, Workers’ Comp Reform Should Be Top of Mind for Lawmakers

 

This August, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recommended an average Florida workers’ comp premium decrease of 9.6 percent effective January 1, 2018. This comes following two landmark Florida Supreme Court cases that brought uncertainty to the state’s workers’ compensation system and in turn raised rates by 14.5 percent in 2017.

While the 9.6 percent rate decrease is welcome and business owners should be relieved, the problem still persists.

NCCI recommended a decrease, not because of any reform or changes, but because it is using claims data from 2014 and 2015.

Unfortunately, too many groups are laying down the sword despite Florida having among the highest workers’ compensation rates in the Southeast, with rising rates leading to a $1.5 billion cost shift for Florida businesses. Various organizations and associations have openly proclaimed that the fight for reform is unlikely this year.

The truth is that business owners will soon experience sticker shock after their workers comp rates skyrocket again and they will be knocking at their lawmaker’s door, asking “Why didn’t you do something about this?”

Florida was once hailed as a leader on workers’ comp reform but our current workers’ compensation system is unsustainable for the state. Fees and claims will continue to rise, hampering Florida’s business climate and causing our 46th ranked legal system to fall even further.

A competitive and predictable workers’ compensation system that protects workers and job creators is vital to making Florida more competitive. Lawmakers should consider the long-term ramifications for the future of the state if they fail on reform this session. Hopefully, it will spark the urge to fix our broken workers’ compensation system.

Authored by Carol Roberts, President & CEO of Bay County Chamber of Commerce