Florida Chamber Announces Speaker Steve Crisafulli as 2016 Most Valuable Legislator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Edie Ousley
(850) 521-1231
eousley@flchamber.com

Releases Annual ‘How They Voted’ Publication
on the Florida Chamber’s Business Agenda

TALLAHASSEE, FL (April 12, 2016) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today released its annual publication How They Voted, and announced House Speaker Steve Crisafulli as the 2016 Most Valuable Legislator.

“While others talk about Florida’s long-term future, Speaker Crisafulli actively charges forward toward what is right for our state and knows firsthand the importance of fighting for free-enterprise principles,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “His dedication to seeing beyond short-sighted political platforms and his willingness to pass bipartisan efforts has made all the difference for our state.”

Speaker Crisafulli, who has previously earned the Florida Chamber’s Distinguished Advocate award and has consistently been ranked an “A” grade legislator, has been a leading legislative champion for securing Florida’s water future. Additionally, he championed House efforts to reform Florida’s archaic and unsustainable pension system, and continued to support Florida’s families and businesses by passing a $1 billion tax cut package in the House this session.

“The Florida Chamber has been an important ally in our efforts to secure Florida’s future during my two years as Speaker,” said House Speaker Steve Crisafulli. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to work closely with their members and staff in the push for a better business climate, regulatory reform and comprehensive water solutions. Fighting for our state’s long-term interest isn’t always popular or easy and it’s not a task that can be done alone. Thanks to the Florida Chamber’s commitment to the free enterprise principles that make our state the best state in the nation, I believe we moved Florida forward to a brighter future.”

Each year, the Florida Chamber honors one legislator as a Most Valuable Legislator, for their courage to champion business issues. Although in the 2015 regular and special sessions, no comparable champion emerged, we honor the previous 11 years of steadfast leaders who stood firm against special interest agendas and fought for Florida’s business community on the issues that will help secure Florida’s future. Those include:

  • House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (2016)
  • House Speaker Will Weatherford (2014)
  • Representative Larry Metz (2013)
  • House Speaker Dean Cannon (2012)
  • Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff (2011)
  • Senator John Thrasher (2010)
  • Senator Garrett Richter (2009)
  • Representative Dennis Ross (2008)
  • Representative Stan Mayfield (2007)
  • Representative Don Brown (2006)
  • House Speaker Allan Bense (2005)

The Florida Chamber’s annual How They Voted identifies where legislators stood on the Florida Chamber’s 2016 business agenda. How They Voted provides the composite grades for all 160 legislators so business leaders and families can see who voted for or against job creation and economic opportunity in Florida, as well as what Florida Business Agenda issues did or didn’t pass during the 2016 legislative session.

Just two weeks ago, the Florida Chamber also released its Legislative Report Card, highlighting actual grades earned by each legislator and honoring 14 legislators who earned the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Advocate award for championing pro-jobs, pro-business legislation.

 

 

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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.

Florida Chamber-Backed Comprehensive Water Bill Signed by Governor

Today, Florida took an important step toward securing Florida’s water future, when Governor Scott signed the Florida Chamber-backed water bill into law. This bi-partisan effort is a step in the right direction to ensure that Florida’s water future doesn’t go the way of California.

The Florida Chamber thanks House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Representative Matt Caldwell (R-Lehigh Acres), Senator Charlie Dean (R-Inverness), Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as well as Florida Chamber members, local chambers of commerce and members of the Florida Chamber’s water coalition for their help in this success.

 

What Does This Law Mean for You?

Click here to read our one-pager, which outlines what this law will mean for your business, your employees and your community.

Comprehensive Water Bill Passes, Heads to Governor For Signature

The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds the Florida Legislature for fully passing a Florida Chamber-backed comprehensive water bill today that will help secure our state’s water future.

SB 552, sponsored by Senator Charlie Dean (R-Inverness), takes meaningful steps, using science-based solutions, to help ensure Florida’s water future doesn’t go the way of California.

This measure, which now heads to Governor Rick Scott for signature:

  • Will help ensure clean and abundant water,
  • Reduce the prospect of “water wars” among users in resource-limited areas, and
  • Promote strategic partnerships between the public and private sector in achieving water resource development goals.

The Florida Chamber Foundation estimates that by 2030, six million more residents will call Florida home. We commend House Speaker Steve Crisafulli,  Senator Charlie Dean, Representative Matt Caldwell (R-Lehigh Acres),  and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for continuing to champion Florida’s water future.

What’s Next for This Bill

The bill now heads to Governor Scott’s desk to await signature.

Watch and Share Our “Keep Florida Clean & Affordable” Video

Watch the video to learn why Florida needs long-term water solutions and share with your employees, co-workers and friends. Share via twitter and be sure to tag @Florida_Wins.

 

Water Bill En-Route to Governor’s Desk

Ensures Clean and Abundant Water for Future Growth

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 14, 2016) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds the Florida Legislature for fully passing a Florida Chamber-backed comprehensive water bill today that will help secure our state’s water future.

 

“The Florida Chamber has long supported science-backed efforts that will ensure our state can meet the demands of today and of the future,” said Christopher Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy at the Florida Chamber. “This bill is a meaningful step in the right direction to help ensure Florida’s water future doesn’t go the way of California. This bi-partisan effort is a fantastic start to Florida’s 2016 Legislative Session.”

 

With six million more residents expected to call Florida home by 2030, the Florida Chamber of Commerce believes that securing Florida’s water future is essential in preparing Florida’s infrastructure for smart growth and development.

Bill sponsor Rep. Matt Caldwell (R-Lehigh Acres) this week appeared on The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line, saying “It’s no secret water is a key component to our success here in Florida.”

The Florida Chamber thanks House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Senator Charlie Dean (R-Inverness), Representative Matt Caldwell (R- Lehigh Acres), and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for continuing to champion Florida’s water future.

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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.

BREAKING: Supreme Court to Send Redistricting Back to Lower Court

By: Andrew Wiggins, Senior Director of Campaigns and Elections

Today, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a lower court to hold a hearing in the ongoing legal case involving Florida’s congressional redistricting conundrum.

The ruling came after a request from Leon Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis for the Florida Supreme Court to provide further direction after the Florida Legislature was unable to agree on a congressional district map during a special session last month. Upon the conclusion of that special session, both chambers sent their maps to Judge Lewis.

Under today’s ruling, the House and Senate will now present arguments in support of or in opposition to the proposed map plans. The burden remains on the House and Senate to justify their own configurations.  The trial court subsequently will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court by October 17, as to which map or portions of each map best meets the requirements set by the Supreme Court in its July 9, 2015 opinion ordering new maps to be drawn.

However, in today’s ruling, the Supreme Court offered the opportunity for lawmakers to reconvene and pass new congressional maps, which would then go to the lower court for approval.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merrit Island, said: “Today the court provided a measure of certainty for how we may go forward to adopt a constitutional congressional map, as the voters expect from us. We look forward to further reviewing the order to determine our next steps.”

Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said the Senate remains open to holding another special session on redistricting.

“The Supreme Court declined the plaintiffs’ request that it draw the congressional map and recognizes that the Legislature still has time to enact a unified congressional plan. This decision has not precluded the opportunity for the House and Senate to draw a map, and each chamber should take advantage of the ample time to address the differences between our respective plans. As we have expressed since the conclusion of the special session, the Senate is willing to reconvene to fulfill our constitutional obligation.”

Also today, the Supreme Court denied the League of Women Voters request to terminate the legislature’s role in redistricting and allow the court to draw its own map. The court ruled congressional redistricting falls first and foremost upon the legislature.

 

BACKGROUND:

In August, the Florida Legislature was tasked with redrawing Florida’s 27 Congressional Districts after the Florida Supreme Court ruled eight districts unconstitutional. A resulting base map made changes to 22 of Florida’s 27 districts – touching most of the state. The two-week session ended without agreement between the two chambers. With no map in hand, lawmakers went to lower court Judge Lewis who sought an opinion from the Florida Supreme Court.

The Florida Chamber will continue to keep you up to date with the latest.

Florida Chamber Applauds Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner for Taking Legal Action to Stop the Federal Government’s Waters of the U.S. Rule

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (July 1 , 2015) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today applauds Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for standing up for economic development,  small businesses and Florida’s environment by joining a multi-state lawsuit to block the federal government’s unscientific and newly expanded job killing water rule.

“The EPA’s finalized rule is a massive government overreach that threatens small businesses and private land owners, and goes far beyond efforts needed to protect our nation’s natural resources,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  “The EPA went too far, too fast, rather than heeding the public’s calls to reevaluate its misguided rulemaking.”

Florida has some of the toughest environmental protections in the nation and the federal government’s action threatens to undermine them.  Under the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ finalized Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, ditches with only ephemeral or intermittent flow may fall under the federal government’s jurisdiction. Also, for the first time ever, the federal rule expressly authorizes EPA and the Corps to assert jurisdiction over marginal surface waters based on mere proximity to navigable waters or partial location within a 100-year floodplain.

Previous EPA efforts to impose burdensome, non-scientific water rules on Florida have been rebuffed by federal courts. With support from the Florida Chamber, Florida’s tough, scientifically-backed water regulations are now guarding our state’s waterways from excess nitrogen and phosphorous pollution.

Clean water is a priority for families and small businesses across Florida. Job creators rely on this natural resource to help provide products and services to their customers. For Florida’s farmers, home builders, retailers, building material manufacturers, transportation industry and other businesses, clean water is an economic necessity. That’s why the Florida Chamber supports Florida’s science-based environmental regulations and opposes EPA efforts to interject unneeded federal bureaucracy. Furthermore, as Floridians we care about water because of the unique quality of life it provides.

The Florida Chamber believes the federal government should take a page out of Florida’s playbook – following the lead of elected leaders like House Speaker Steve Crisafulli – which is doing more to protect our environment than simply issuing mandates.

In addition to applauding General Bondi and Commissioner Putnam for their efforts to stop the federal WOTUS rule, the Florida Chamber also thanks members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation for their support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 providing relief for small businesses of WOTUS. This Act would require EPA and the Corps to withdraw this controversial rulemaking and instead pursue a commonsense process involving the states and local stakeholders.  Representatives voting in support of H.R. 1732 included: Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Curt Clawson, Ander Crenshaw, Carlos Curbelo, Ron DeSantis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Gwen Graham, David Jolly, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Rich Nugent, Bill Posey, Tom Rooney, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Dennis Ross, Dan Webster and Ted Yoho.

 

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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.

Florida Chamber Applauds Action to Stop Federal Government’s Water Rule

The Florida Chamber Applauds Attorney General and
Agriculture Commissioner for Taking Legal Action to
Stop the Federal Government’s Waters of the U.S. Rule

The Florida Chamber of Commerce today applauds Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for standing up for economic development,  small businesses and Florida’s environment by joining a multi-state lawsuit to block the federal government’s unscientific and newly expanded job killing water rule.

“The EPA’s finalized rule is a massive government overreach that threatens small businesses and private land owners, and goes far beyond efforts needed to protect our nation’s natural resources,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  “The EPA went too far, too fast, rather than heeding the public’s calls to reevaluate its misguided rulemaking.”

Florida has some of the toughest environmental protections in the nation and the federal government’s action threatens to undermine them.  Under the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ finalized Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, ditches with only ephemeral or intermittent flow may fall under the federal government’s jurisdiction. Also, for the first time ever, the federal rule expressly authorizes EPA and the Corps to assert jurisdiction over marginal surface waters based on mere proximity to navigable waters or partial location within a 100-year floodplain.

“Clean water and environmental protection issues are critical in our state and Florida is better suited than the federal government to establish the regulatory rules necessary to protect our unique waterways. We cannot allow Floridians to bear the brunt of these types of costly and burdensome federal regulations, which would have a significant negative impact on local government, businesses and households all across our state,” said Attorney General Bondi.

Previous EPA efforts to impose burdensome, non-scientific water rules on Florida have been rebuffed by federal courts. With support from the Florida Chamber, Florida’s tough, scientifically-backed water regulations are now guarding our state’s waterways from excess nitrogen and phosphorous pollution.

Clean water is a priority for families and small businesses across Florida. Job creators rely on this natural resource to help provide products and services to their customers. For Florida’s farmers, home builders, retailers, building material manufacturers, transportation industry and other businesses, clean water is an economic necessity. That’s why the Florida Chamber supports Florida’s science-based environmental regulations and opposes EPA efforts to interject unneeded federal bureaucracy. Furthermore, as Floridians we care about water because of the unique quality of life it provides.

“The unconstitutional expansion of the EPA’s jurisdiction over the waters of the United States not only infringes on states’ authority, but also it threatens the sound environmental protection programs we have in place today,” Commissioner Putnam said.

The Florida Chamber believes the federal government should take a page out of Florida’s playbook – following the lead of elected leaders like House Speaker Steve Crisafulli – which is doing more to protect our environment than simply issuing mandates.

In addition to applauding General Bondi and Commissioner Putnam for their efforts to stop the federal WOTUS rule, the Florida Chamber also thanks members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation for their support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 providing relief for small businesses of WOTUS. This Act would require EPA and the Corps to withdraw this controversial rulemaking and instead pursue a commonsense process involving the states and local stakeholders.  Representatives voting in support of H.R. 1732 included: Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Curt Clawson, Ander Crenshaw, Carlos Curbelo, Ron DeSantis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Gwen Graham, David Jolly, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Rich Nugent, Bill Posey, Tom Rooney, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Dennis Ross, Dan Webster and Ted Yoho.

Learn More

Visit our Water Issue Page to learn more about the Florida Chamber’s position on water.

Congratulations to Hutson, Renner and Stevenson

N.E. Florida Special Election
Winners to be Sworn in Today

Three special General Elections took place last night in Northeast Florida. With former Senator John Thrasher stepping down to accept the position of President at Florida State University, voters in Senate District 6 chose Florida Chamber-backed candidate Representative Travis Hutson as his replacement with 70 percent of the voters supporting him. The Florida Chamber looks forward to working with Senator Travis Hutson on an agenda to secure Florida’s future.

The Florida Chamber also supported U.S. Navy Veteran and attorney Paul Renner in the House District 24 special General Election. Paul Renner won his race over democrat Adam Morley by a 67-to-32 percent margin. The Florida Chamber supported Paul Renner’s candidacy and looks forward to working with him as a new member of the Florida House of Representatives.

CPA and county commissioner Cyndi Stevenson won the House District 17 special General Election with 78 percent of the voters supporting her. The Florida Chamber supported Cyndi Stevenson’s candidacy during the special General Election and looks forward to working with her as a newly elected leader in order to ensure Florida continues on the right path.

Finally, in a press release last night, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) said Representatives Renner and Stevenson will be sworn in today during the House floor session, which begins at 1 p.m., making their impact on the legislative session immediate.

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.