Economic Development Task Force Finalizes Recommendations

After eight months of work and dozens of meetings, the Florida Chamber Economic Development Task Force concluded its final meeting today in Orlando at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Led by co-chairs Glenda Hood and Leerie Jenkins, the Florida Chamber Economic Development Task Force considered feedback provided by over one thousand individuals on ways the state can become more competitive. The result: 260 recommendations, which will be released soon in a full report. The full report will include short term recommendations and ideas for future research. We look forward to sharing the full report with you once it’s finalized.

The Economic Development Task Force Meeting at UCF Featured Presentations by:

  • Tony Carvajal, Executive Director, Florida Chamber Foundation,
  • Marshall Criser III, Chancellor, State University System,
  • Kevin Darrenkamp, VP and General Counsel, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control,
  • Doug Davidson, Florida Chamber Foundation Board of Trustees Chair and Commercial Banking Market Executive, Bank of America,
  • David Fuller, President, Sun Trust Foundation,
  • Chris Hart, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida,
  • Glenda Hood, Economic Development Task Force Co-Chair and Principal/Founder of trisect,
  • Leerie Jenkins, Economic Development Task Force Co-Chair and Chairman/CEO, RS&H,
  • Belinda Keiser, Vice Chancellor of Community Development, Keiser University,
  • Fred Kittinger, Director of State and Local Government Affairs, University of Central Florida,
  • Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist of the Florida Chamber Foundation,
  • Todd Powell, General Manager, Real Estate, Weyerhaeuser,
  • Crystal Stiles, Director, Economic Development, Florida Power & Light Company,
  • Jacob Stuart, President and CEO, Central Florida Partnership, Inc.,
  • Bob Ward, President and CEO, Florida Council of 100, and
  • Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

A special thank you to the many members of the Florida Chamber, business leaders and economic development professionals that have participated in our Economic Development Task Force.

Learn More:

Since December 2010, Florida businesses have created more than one million private-sector jobs. To learn more about the Florida Chamber’s Economic Development Task Force, click here or email me at cjohnson@flchamber.com.

Attacks Continue on Florida’s Workers’ Comp System

While the Florida Chamber of Commerce continues to monitor the Florida Supreme Court for a decision on the three workers’ compensation cases before the Court, this week a decision was issued by the First District Court of Appeals that is disconcerting for the workers’ comp system.

Miles v City of Edgewater opens the door for other injured parties to hire their own attorneys, and for attorneys to start taking workers’ comp cases on a non-contingency basis. This could increase litigation, increase the amount of awards, and lengthen court battles.

The intent of the workers’ comp attorney fee statute is to prevent unnecessary and drawn out litigation from taking place, and ensure that claims have merit. While the result of the decision in Miles v. City of Edgewater is that the claimant or a third party has the right to contract and pay for an attorney beyond the contingency fee basis, a concern is that attorneys will prey on injured workers to pay their own fees and an increase in meritless lawsuits will occur.

It is unclear yet whether this case will be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, or if this could have an impact on rates. NCCI, the state’s rating agency, will be examining the financial impact of this case in the coming weeks to determine if workers’ comp rates will need to be increased.

Take Action Now

Florida’s business climate is a key factor in businesses expanding and relocating to Florida – that means we must ensure workers’ comp rates remain affordable. The Florida Chamber’s Economic Development Task Force, which will launch in May, will discuss important business climate issues driving business decisions. To learn more and to be part of the conversation, contact Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com.