Take Action Today to Prevent a Patchwork of Regulations

 

A bill to prevent a patchwork of regulations will be heard by the Senate Government Oversight and Accountability Committee on Tuesday. The bill, SB 432 sponsored by Senator Joe Gruters, will prohibit local governments from adopting regulations related to conditions of employment, including: background checks, hours of work and scheduling, job classifications, and salary information.  Florida already preempts minimum wage and employment benefits, such as paid sick leave, to the state.

Labor unions like the ACLU have long supported county and state employer mandates. Furthermore, some local governments believe they have the authority to regulate business activities even if they take place across multiple jurisdictions. In Florida, such an effort could lead to different mandates from one county to the next. In a state with 67 counties and 412 cities, the reams of regulatory paperwork required could force small businesses to shed jobs, and even permanently close their doors.

TAKE ACTION TODAY

Take two minutes to email members of the Government Oversight and Accountability Committee and voice your support for SB 432.

More Regulations Bad for Rail Industry

 

Download Letter to Transportation Committee      Register for Transportation Summit     Transportation Investments

 

Florida Should Welcome All Modes of Transportation

In testimony before the Florida Senate Transportation Committee, the Florida Chamber of Commerce expressed its opposition to SB 572, which would add unneeded state regulations to the already heavily federally regulated rail industry.

The Florida Chamber believes this bill will disturb existing agreements between local governments and private companies, and discourage private investment that seeks to solve public transportation issues.

During testimony to the committee, which is chaired by Senator George B. Gainer (R-Panama City), we shared that Florida will see an additional 5.4 million residents and 117 million annual visitors by 2030. Florida should welcome all modes of transportation, especially those the private sector is willing to invest in.

Click here to see Chris Emmanuel’s testimony in front of the Florida Senate Transportation Committee.

 

Share Your Feedback

We welcome your feedback on this issue. Join the discussion at the 2017 Florida Chamber Foundation Transportation Solutions Summit on December 12. For additional information, email Chris Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com or call at (850) 521-1242.

Federal Overtime Rules: How Will Your Business be impacted?

Tell the U.S. Department of Labor Your Thoughts on Overtime Rule Now

Remember the Overtime Rule? Well, it’s back…sort of.

Last year, you shared your concerns about how the new U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Overtime Rule would impact you. The rule would have increased the salary threshold from $455 a week to $913 a week and required overtime pay if employees without managerial-natured duties worked over 40 hours.

The Overtime Rule is currently tied up in a Texas court and hasn’t taken effect, but efforts underway have reignited the debate.

The DOL is once again seeking public input on how to change overtime provisions, which have not been updated since 2004. Specifically, the department would like input on how to determine a new salary threshold, if certain types of employees should be exempt, and how any changes would impact businesses.

The Florida Chamber encourages you to share how your business will be affected. For more information and to submit written comments, please click here. Written comments can be submitted until September 25, 2017.

 

 Do You Have Questions About the Overtime Rule?

Contact me at cjohnson@flchamber.com or 850-521-1235.

Proposed Florida Environmental Regulation May Place Your Business at the Center of the Next Media Crisis

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David Childs, environmental law expert, testifies on behalf of the Florida Chamber and Florida’s business community against the proposed Florida Department of Environmental Protection rule.

 

Before a recently proposed emergency rule, environmental compliance in Florida was straightforward: most of the time, the reporting company notified the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of any significant pollution event, who in turn provided technical guidance and notified the public when necessary.  Definitions were understood, good businesses followed clear rules, and Florida’s environment was protected and the public informed through sound science.  That system is in jeopardy.

On September 26, 2016, Governor Scott issued an Emergency Rule that established new requirements for the public notification of pollution.   Under the emergency rule, the company that has a pollution incident must not only notify the Florida DEP, but also notify local elected officials, property owners and even broadcast media as well as provide technical guidance to the general public.

As soon as the rule was public, the Florida Chamber of Commerce led a coalition effort to raise concerns on potential regulatory uncertainty, vague reporting thresholds, and the burdensome media reporting requirement with Florida DEP leadership.  Despite improvements to reporting threshold requirements in the proposed rule, DEP now seeks to codify a modified version of this rule, which will force many businesses to directly contact the media within 24 hours of a potential incident and before all the facts are in.

The Florida Chamber believes that the core function of the Florida DEP is to use its expertise and judgment to provide appropriate notice and recommendations to the public. This rule appears to shift that burden and cost to small businesses.  This morning, environmental law expert David Childs testified on behalf of the Florida Chamber of Commerce at the final rule workshop, giving voice to the concerns of Florida’s business community.  Public comment on the proposed rule will close at 5pm this Wednesday.  We need your input to understand how this rule will affect your business, and push DEP to reconsider this burdensome regulation.

If your company will be affected or could be affected, please email Christopher Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com.

Growth Bill Passes Full Legislature

The Florida Legislature today passed a Florida Chamber of Commerce-backed growth management bill that will help make Florida more competitive by streamlining rules surrounding developments of regional impact (DRI).

HB 1361, sponsored by Rep. Mike La Rosa (R- Saint Cloud), will allow approved construction plans to reduce in size without having to go through another layer of the approval process. This will help ensure that developers can continue with valuable construction efforts without unnecessary regulatory roadblocks.

We commend the Florida Legislature and Rep. La Rosa for his efforts to make Florida more competitive.

Please Thank These Lawmakers

The Florida Chamber encourages you to join us in thanking lawmakers who played instrumental roles in the passage of this important bill. Please click here to send a letter to these lawmakers.

Sen. Jeff Brandes Discusses Regulatory Reform

“We need to really think about what we are doing as far as statewide regulations”

-Senator Jeff Brandes

Building Florida’s business friendly climate means becoming a  leader in regulatory reform. From licensing issues to ensuring consumers are protected, Florida wins when we welcome new and innovative technologies instead of driving them away with unnecessary regulations.

“We have to be very aggressive about being out in front and making sure that we are leading and that we are not putting ourselves in a situation where Florida is showing up in the newspaper for how strongly its regulating product,” said Senator Jeff Brandes on The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line.

Pushing Back Against Overreaching Federal Regulations

Florida Chamber Holds Washington, D.C. ‘Fly-In’ to Meet With Lawmakers/Federal Officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 9 , 2015) – With job creators facing a tidal wave of overreaching federal regulations, the Florida Chamber of Commerce this week is leading a delegation of board members on a “Washington, D.C. Fly-In,” meeting with members of Florida’s Congressional delegation – urging their support of job creators and pushing back against burdensome regulations.

Overreaching federal regulations is the number one concern of Florida Chamber members and partners, according to its latest Florida Business Agenda survey.

“Florida companies are increasingly concerned about the tsunami of federal regulations headed their way,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber.

“The Florida Chamber’s Washington, D.C. Fly-In allows our members and partners to serve as citizen lobbyists, side-by-side with our professional advocacy team, to further strengthen the voice of Florida’s business community and to say enough is enough when it comes to overreaching federal regulations.”

In recent weeks, the Florida Chamber has officially opposed numerous overreaching federal regulations, including:

• EPA’s Waters of the U. S. Rule
• EPA’s Ozone Regulations Rule
• EPA’s Clean Power Plan Rule
• Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule

The Florida Chamber’s Washington, D.C. Fly-In includes meetings with:

• Congresswoman Corrine Brown
• Congressman Vern Buchanan
• Congressman Carlos Curbelo
• Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart
• Congressman David Jolly
• Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen
• Congressman Daniel Webster
• U.S. Chamber of Commerce
• U.S. Department of Agriculture

During the two-days of meetings, the Florida Chamber team also discussed:

• Reauthorizing Ex-Im Bank
• Transportation reauthorization (related to surface transportation)
• International trade

Spearheading this Florida Chamber advocacy opportunity are Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach, and Drew Preston, Chief of Staff & Vice President, Office of the President.

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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.

Todd Powell Discusses Free Enterprise, Need for Predictable Regulations

“Free enterprise is really about the American dream… Government needs to be there to help out that process to keep the American dream alive and not ultimately be a deterrent to it.”

Florida Chamber Regional Board Chair, Todd Powell, General Manager, Real Estate for Plum Creek

 

The Florida Chamber believes that welcoming diverse businesses from around the state to take advantage of Florida’s business friendly climate helps Florida remain competitive. From community engagement to financial investments, businesses must consider multiple issues before choosing a state to invest in.

“Florida is a great place to do business and at Plum Creek we have found a very welcome home here since we started doing business here in 2001,” said Todd Powell, General Manager, Real Estate for Plum Creek, Florida Chamber board member and one of twelve Florida Chamber Regional Chairs. “We’re a very proud part of a forest products industry that helps contribute more than $16 billion to Florida’s economy and employs more than 14,000 Florida residents. … Here at Plum Creek we found that Florida’s economy is the one that provides opportunities for these types of success.”

But in order for Florida to remain competitive, our state must continue to move forward with regulatory reform efforts that create a predicable environment which helps current businesses grow and provides new business the opportunities needed to succeed.

“To me, free enterprise really means a predictability of regulation within business,” said Powell. “For Florida to really be competitive in the future, we really need to have predictability. So if I want to make a capital investment as a business leaders, I’m not saying that we need to be without regulations, but I need to have the regulations applied to me consistently. Otherwise, if there’s going to be uncertainty to how the regulations will be applied, that’s going to make me want to question my decision to make a capital investment within Florida. When you really look at it, the basic foundation to me, free enterprise is really about the American dream. It’s a matter of, if someone wants to take a capital risk, work hard, then they can ultimately be rewarded for it. And guess what? There’s no guaranteed winners and losers. It’s a matter of individuals are rewarded based upon how hard they are willing to work and it’s a matter of government needs to be there to help out that process to keep the American dream alive and not ultimately be a deterrent to it. “

As a Florida Chamber Regional Chair, Todd will be working closely with other business leaders in his community and throughout the state to continue to advocate for the Florida Chamber’s pro-business, free enterprise principles.

“The Florida Chamber has given us an opportunity to share our story and our voice, and use it to bring businesses together and I look forward to working with other regional chairs to see how we can create a stronger Florida,” said Powell.

Recently Passed Federal Regulations Could Cost Consumers $11,000

Burdensome government regulations are the enemy of free enterprise and put serious limitations on businesses in the areas of building permitting, hiring practices, operating procedures and many more. Results from the Florida Chamber’s recent Small Business Index Survey show that government regulations are one of the top issues facing small businesses, resulting in excess costs and reductions in workforce and wages.

While the actual costs of overregulation are difficult to measure, the expenses are passed on to consumers in the form of higher costs for products and decreased job creation. A 2014 report estimated that recently passed federal regulations could cost consumers an additional $11,000 for items like vehicles, household goods, food, healthcare and energy.

“Excess regulations are detrimental to Florida businesses and families,” said Monesia Brown, Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations at Walmart. “At Walmart, our goal is to make sure that our shoppers can save money and live better, and one way to reduce costs is through regulatory reform.”

Share Your Story:

What unreasonable regulations have you encountered that you would like to see changed? Share your story by emailing our Chief Economist, Dr. Jerry D. Parrish at jparrish@flfoundation.org.

Get Involved:

When Florida’s regulatory climate improves, Florida wins. Share this email with your employees to ensure that Florida remains globally competitive. Learn more at FloridaWins.Org.