Florida Chamber-Backed Lawsuit Abuse Reform Bills Pass House Committees

 

Watch Senator Gruters     Sign AOB Petition

 

Lawmakers in the House continued to take steps to improve on Florida’s bottom-five legal climate by passing two Florida Chamber-backed lawsuit abuse reform bills today, including:

  • Assignment of Benefits Reform –HB 7065
  • Damages – HB 17

HB 7065, made its last committee stop today in the House Judiciary Committee and will move forward for debate on the House Floor in the coming weeks.

We will keep you up-to-date as lawsuit abuse reform legislation moves forward.

Three Ways to Get Involved

  1. Watch Senator Joe Gruters discuss his top priority bills on the latest edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line.
  2. Sign the petition seeking AOB reform by visiting www.FightFraud.Today.
  3. Be the first to know when registration opens for the Florida Chamber’s annual Insurance Summit taking place November 2019.

Workforce Quality and Government Regulations Top Concerns in Florida Chamber Small Business Survey

2018 Elections Key to Ensuring Florida Small and Local Businesses Can Continue Creating 1 Out of Every 11 New American Jobs

 

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (October 22, 2018) — As Florida job creators prepare to cast their vote for Florida’s next Governor, they are no doubt looking at which candidate will help strengthen Florida’s workforce and tackle government regulations – top concerns of business leaders on the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Fourth Quarter Small Business Index Survey.

For the eighth quarter in a row, employers say finding additional skilled employees to meet open job demands is their number one concern. And small and local businesses are increasingly concerned about government regulations.

 

“With Florida small and local businesses creating one out of every 11 new American jobs, the Small Business Index Survey shows that job creators will be looking for a Governor that further eliminates outdated regulations and further strengthens Florida’s workforce to ensure the available 245,300 jobs in Florida can be filled with quality employees,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Political Operation.

 

On the upside, 59 percent of small businesses indicated confidence in the direction that Florida is taking to make the Sunshine State a better place for businesses—up from the third quarter.

As Johnson explained, looking at the gubernatorial candidates proposed plans shows their differences, and provides a clear view of the candidates’ positions on small and local businesses.

“Preparing for the future means continuing to ensure that Florida’s economy is ready and able to create prosperity through high-paying jobs, remain globally competitive, and develop vibrant and sustainable communities,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation.  “As we look toward 2030, we must continue to ensure businesses have access to the qualified workforce they need to continue to create jobs, and that all Floridians can pave a path toward economic prosperity.  This quarter’s Small Business Index Survey indicates that Florida’s small businesses remain increasingly concerned about workforce quality- a concern that has been consistently ranked number one for the past eight quarters. “

 

The Florida Chamber’s fourth quarterly statewide Small Business Index  Survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

  • Workforce quality (26 percent),
  • Government regulations (9 percent),
  • Access to Capital (8 percent),
  • Economic uncertainty (8 percent)
  • Lawsuit abuse (6 percent),
  • Taxes (6 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (6 percent),

 

Of Florida small businesses, 48 percent of respondents expect to hire in the next six months, up from 45 percent last quarter. And 43 percent expect to make investments in plants or equipment, down from 49 percent one year ago.

 

“For the eighth quarter in a row, workforce quality continues to be the top concern of Florida’s small businesses, with government regulations ranking second,” said Glenda Hood, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founding Partner, triSect. “Florida’s economy is dependent on the small business community, and the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council remains committed to advocating on their behalf.”

 

About the Survey:

 

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically September 6, 2018 through October 11, 2018. Thirty-nine percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 43 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click here to view the full report.

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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 Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

 

Florida Small Business Owners Concerned About Workforce Quality 

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 22, 2018) – Ask a Florida small business owner what keeps them up at night and they’ll likely point to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey, which shows workforce quality and government regulations as the top concerns of Florida’s job creators for the second straight quarter.

“Businesses are telling us, loud and clear, that in order to grow, they need access to a talented workforce,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation. “The Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent Florida Jobs 2030 report confirms this research by showing that the future of work is changing, and as this quarter’s Small Business Index once again shows workforce quality is top of mind for Florida’s businesses. Another trend we are seeing is businesses remain concerned about the impact government regulations have on their ability to grow. At the same time, we are seeing business confidence remain high. This signals a confidence in Florida’s economy, one that is echoed in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s newly released Florida Leading Index, which indicates job creation is expected to be substantially higher than the U.S. average.”

 

The Florida Chamber’s quarterly Small Business Index statewide survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

  • Workforce quality (27 percent),
  • Government regulations (13 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (11 percent),
  • Lawsuit abuse (9 percent),
  • Access to capital (8 percent).

 

Of Florida small businesses, 52 percent of respondents expect to hire in the next six months – up slightly from 48 percent in our Q4 2017 survey.

“Florida’s small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased concerns about workforce quality and government regulations,” said Glenda Hood, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founding Partner, triSect. “The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council looks forward to working together to identify and support solutions that will help and grow Florida’s small business community.”

 

About the Survey:

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically December 13, 2017 through January 12, 2018. 30 percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 41 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click here to view the full report.

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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 crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FLChamber.com for more information.

ATRA: Florida is the Country’s Worst “Judicial Hellhole”

 

Survey: How Does Lawsuit Abuse Affect You?   News Release   ATRA Report   Meet Mary

 

Florida Surpasses California to Become Worst “Judicial Hellhole”

The Sunshine State could be named the “Shady State” after a new report by the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) named Florida the “nation’s worst Judicial Hellhole,” the first time in the study’s 16-year history where the state was ranked number one.

Lawsuit abuse in Florida is an increasingly serious and expensive problem, and it just keeps getting worse. On average, it translates into a $3,400 ‘tax’ for Florida’s families each year, due to increased lawsuit abuse costs.

According to ATRA, the trial bar’s aggressive practices throughout Florida, along with friendly lawmakers in positions of power in the Legislature, have made Florida a hellscape for litigation and abuse. Continued failure by the Legislature to enact serious legal reform during the 2018 session will continue Florida’s slide as a “judicial hellhole” and worsen an already crippling legal environment for businesses and residents alike.

Read the Report

For the first time in its 16-year history, the Judicial Hellholes report by ATRA named Florida the worst “judicial hellhole” in the country, surpassing California. Read the full report.

Have You Met Mary?

We invite you to Meet Mary, a concerned Floridian whose family pays too much in frivolous lawsuit taxes. Mary is paying about $3,400 a year in lawsuit abuse taxes.

In the News: “Florida Takes No. 1 Spot on ‘Judicial Hellholes’ List

Read the full Florida Politics article.

Florida Surpasses California to Become Worst ‘Judicial Hellhole’

 

New Report Says ‘High Court’s Contempt & Lawsuit Rackets’ Are to Blame

TALLAHASSEE, FL (December 5, 2017) – For the first time in its 16-year history, a new report says “enough shade has been cast on the Sunshine State to rank it as the nation’s worst Judicial Hellhole.”

The ranking announced this morning by the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), is further evidence that Florida’s legal climate is among the worst in America, the Florida Chamber of Commerce said today.

“Lawsuit abuse in Florida is an increasingly serious and expensive problem, and it just keeps getting worse. On average, it translates into a $3,400 ‘tax’ for Florida’s families each year, due to increased lawsuit abuse costs,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber.

“There have been five Wall Street Journal articles this year alone talking about Florida’s horrendous lawsuit abuse, the national Institute for Legal Reform named Florida the fifth worst state for legal climate, and now the American Tort Reform Association ranks Florida as the worst Judicial Hellhole, how much more evidence do lawmakers need to take action,” Wilson continued.

According to ATRA, the report shines its brightest spotlight on eight jurisdictions or courts that have earned reputations as Judicial Hellholes, including Florida, California, St. Louis, New York City, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Madison and Cook Counties, Illinois, and Louisiana.

From ATRA’s Executive Summary:

  • The Florida Supreme Court’s liability-expanding decisions and barely contained contempt for the lawmaking authority of legislators and the governor has repeatedly led to its inclusion in this report. And though the high court’s plaintiff-friendly majority this year shrunk from 5-2 to 4-3, a hushed discus­sion between two majority justices recently caught by an open microphone suggests that this majority is as partisan as ever and brazenly determined to influence the judicial selection process as three like-minded col­leagues face mandatory retirement in early 2019.
  • Meanwhile, an aggressive personal injury bar’s fraudulent and abusive practices in South Florida and elsewhere have also tarnished the state’s reputation. Encouragingly, at least some plaintiffs’ lawyers who’ve crossed the line are being held accountable, either with stiff court sanctions or criminal prosecutions. But with the help of some lawmakers, too many are still get­ting away with too much, and for the first time in this report’s 16-year history, enough shade has been cast on the Sunshine State to rank it as the nation’s worst Judicial Hellhole.

“At a time we’re trying to lower the cost of living on Florida families, this isn’t good news for home and auto owners and their insurance rates. At a time when we’re trying to lower the cost of doing business in Florida, including reducing workers’ comp rates, this isn’t good news,” Wilson said.

 

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

Florida Small Businesses Increasingly Concerned Most About Workforce Quality and Government Regulations Latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Survey Shows

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 24, 2017) –  Workforce quality and government regulations are the top issues keeping Florida’s small business leaders up at night, according to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index survey.

“In the span of two years, workforce quality has climbed from the fifth issue of greatest concern to the top issues of concern,” said DR. JERRY PARRISH, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Florida Chamber Foundation. “The Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent Florida Jobs 2030 report shows that the future of work is changing, and as this quarter’s Small Business Index shows, businesses – now more than ever – need access to a talented workforce.”

The Florida Chamber’s quarterly Small Business Index Statewide Survey Shows Small Businesses are Most Concerned About:

  • Workforce quality (23 percent),
  • Government regulations (16 percent),
  • Economic uncertainty (13 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (10 percent),
  • Lawsuit abuse (8 percent),
  • Access to capital (7 percent).

On the bright side, 70 percent of respondents expect their sales will increase over the next year.

“Florida’s small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased concerns about workforce quality and government regulations,” said TAMI FITZPATRICK, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Entropy Technology Design, Inc. “The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council looks forward to working together to identify and support solutions that will help and grow Florida’s small business community.”

 

About the Survey:

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically June 29 through July 14, 2017. Twenty-nine percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 42 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click here to view the full report.

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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 Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Government Regulations and Workforce Quality Are Top Concerns Of Latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Survey

TALLAHASSEE (April 25, 2017) – The latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index survey shows Florida job creators increasingly concerned about workforce quality and government regulations.

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index statewide survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

  • Workforce quality (22 percent),
  • Government regulations (16 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (13 percent),
    Economic uncertainty (10 percent – tie),
  • Access to capital (10 percent – tie), and
  • Lawsuit abuse (6 percent).

But perhaps what’s most disturbing is fewer Florida job creators believe have confidence in our state’s business climate.

“Fewer small businesses have confidence that Florida’s business climate is headed in the right direction. Only 15 percent of businesses are confident – that’s down from substantially from 26 percent who indicated they were confident in the previous quarterly survey, and down from 32 percent in the second quarter survey two years ago.”

On the bright side, 70 percent of respondents expect their sales will increase over the next year – up slightly from 68 percent during our last survey.

“Florida’s small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased concerns about workforce quality and healthcare costs,” said TAMI FITZPATRICK, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Entropy Technology Design, Inc. “Florida’s economy is dependent on the small business community, and the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council remains committed to advocating on their behalf.”

 

About the Survey:

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically March 29 through April 14, 2017. Thirty-seven percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 42 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click here to view the full report.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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 crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FLChamber.com for more information.
136 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Government Regulations and Workforce Quality Small Businesses’ Top Issues

TALLAHASSEE (January 25, 2017) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today revealed the results of their quarterly Small Business Index survey, which shows “Government Regulations” and  “Workforce Quality” as the top issues small businesses are concerned about.

“Florida’s small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased government regulations, as well as workforce quality,” said TAMI FITZPATRICK, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Entropy Technology Design, Inc. “The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council looks forward to working together to identify and support solutions that will help and grow Florida’s small business community.”

“Access to Capital” was the second most frequently cited challenge facing Florida’s small business community, with 13 percent of respondents citing this as their top issue, up from the nine who indicated the same during the third quarter survey. “Healthcare Costs”, followed with the next place on the list, with 10 percent of respondents citing it as their top issue. “Economic Uncertainty followed closely behind as the top issue for 9 percent of survey respondents, and “Lawsuit Abuse” was also claimed by 9 percent of respondents.

“One indicator of the future path of Florida’s economy is the percentage of respondents that expect the economy to improve over the next year – 77 percent, much higher than the 50 percent reported in last quarter’s survey,” said DR. JERRY PARRISH, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Florida Chamber Foundation.

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index survey shows:

Top Issues Facing Small Businesses:
  • Government regulations (18 percent – tie),
  • Workforce quality (18 percent – tie),
  • Access to capital (13 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (10 percent),
  • Economic uncertainty (9 percent – tie), and
  • Lawsuit abuse (9 percent – tie).
Sales:

68 percent of respondents expect their sales will increase over the next year.

Respondents:

24 percent of respondents employ less than five employees, 51 percent of respondents employ 5 to 49 employees,
The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically December 1 through December 23, 2016. Click here to view the full report.
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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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 crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FLChamber.com for more information.

Florida Chamber Launches TV Campaign In ‘Charlie’s Own Words’

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

New TV Ad Includes Charlie Crist Admitting He’s a Trial Lawyer

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (October 17, 2014) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce, through its Florida Chamber of Commerce Alliance, Inc., today launched a television campaign highlighting the fact that Charlie Crist is a trial lawyer. Because of Florida’s lawsuit abuse problem and agendas of personal injury trial lawyers like Charlie, the average family in Florida pays an annual lawsuit abuse tax of $3,400.

“Governor Rick Scott has Florida’s economy moving in the right direction again, and the last thing Florida needs is another trial lawyer in Tallahassee,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The trial lawyer agenda and lawsuit abuse hurts families and small businesses the most. Voters deserve to know that Charlie is a trial lawyer whose firm makes millions of dollars suing small businesses and families.”

“What we’re doing is helping educate voters so they will know the difference between job creators like Governor Rick Scott and trial lawyers like Charlie Crist,” said Wilson. “Knowingly violating the debate rules is consistent with a candidate who changes parties and positions based on political expediency.”

As poll after poll shows, more than 70 percent of Florida voters believe trial lawyers are more interested in making money than taking care of their clients.

“As the Florida Chamber focuses on job creation and making Florida more competitive, it’s time to say no to trial lawyers like Charlie,” said Wilson.

Transcript of the Florida Chamber’s Latest Ad:

Rick Scott added over 600,000 jobs.

Trial lawyer Charlie lost over 800,000 jobs.

Rick Scott has Florida’s economy headed in the right direction.

“I’m a trial lawyer,” says Charlie Crist.

Trial lawyers like Crist hurt our economy

But Florida’s on the right track with Rick Scott

The last thing we need are more trial lawyers

So give Charlie a call and let him know

Oh, and if he’s out suing someone, leave him a message

 

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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.