Florida Chamber Announces Senator Jack Latvala Named a 2017 Distinguished Advocate


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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Senator Jack Latvala is one of the Florida Chamber’s 2017 Distinguished Advocates for his commitment to championing pro-jobs, pro-business legislation.

The Florida Chamber’s Distinguished Advocate award recognizes lawmakers who fought tirelessly for the passage of pro-business legislation – no matter how difficult – and furthered the Florida Chamber’s goals of securing Florida’s future through job creation and economic development.

To view Senator Latvala’s complete grading and district information, click here.


“Senator Jack Latvala fought for proven investments in economic development and tourism marketing, took a stand against repealing the Insurance Premium Tax Credit, and combated the trial lawyer agenda as the lone vote against prejudgment interest legislation in committee,” said DAVID HART, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“It takes a good business climate to have a strong economy. As a small business owner myself, I understand what the Chamber does to fight for Florida businesses. I am honored to be recognized by them,” SENATOR LATVALA said.


Anti-Business Prejudgment Interest Bill Amended, Still Heading to Senate Floor

On March 29, the Florida Senate Rules Committee approved SB 334, sponsored by Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) by a 10-1 margin. As amended, the anti-business, trial lawyer-backed “prejudgment interest” bill allows interest to be charged on economic damages from the date the injury or tort occurred, not from the date the legal decision was made, as is the current law.

The committee adopted an amendment by Senator Rob Bradley (R-Orange Park) and Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), which eliminated language that would have allowed prejudgment interest to be charged for attorney fees and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Despite the amendment’s efforts to more narrowly apply prejudgment interest, the Florida Chamber remains opposed to SB 334. Prejudgment interest will further drive up the cost of personal injury lawsuits against Floridians and force businesses into a “sue-and-settle” position. It also removes existing discretion available to judges and instead mandates prejudgment interest be awarded.

Thank Sen. Latvala

Click here to thank Sen. Jack Latvala, the only Senator to support Florida’s business community by voting AGAINST SB 334 at its most recent committee vote.

Why is “Prejudgment Interest Bad for Businesses?

Watch the video below, and then share it with other business leaders to warn them about the latest sue-and-settle scheme brewing in Tallahassee.


What’s Next?

The Senate’s version of the bill, SB 334, will move to a vote on the Senate Floor. The House’s version of the bill, HB 469, has one more committee stop before potentially moving to a vote on the House Floor.

Trial Lawyer Bill Temporarily Halted Thanks to Your Leadership

But the Fight Isn’t Over

Thanks to your leadership, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida’s business community today took a stand and, despite a full frontal assault by the trial lawyers, temporarily halted the trial lawyers’ number one legislative priority. And while this is good news, it is only temporary.

Prejudgment interest is the interest accrued as part of a lawsuit from the date of the claim to the time the final judgement is given.

SB 334 would have forced interest to be accrued beginning at the time the loss occurred instead of following the date of judgment. This is especially problematic if delays in court were to occur, all the while accruing interest, and could force companies into settling more court cases to avoid paying additional interest.

Florida already has a bottom-10 legal climate, and bills like prejudgment interest, the trial lawyers’ top priority for the 2017 legislative session, will only increase the costs of Florida’s litigious legal climate and force job creators into a worsening cycle of “sue and settle”.

The Florida Chamber commends Senators Bill Galvano, Wilton Simpson and Jack Latvala for standing strong against special-interests and putting Florida’s jobs creators first.

But while this bill has been halted- it is only temporary. Trial lawyers will continue to fight for this bill and we need you now more than ever.

Share how this bill will impact your ability to create jobs by contacting me at cjohnson@flchamber.com.

Thank Sen. Jack Latvala for Supporting Economic Diversification and Tourism

During the February 9 committee meeting, Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) continued to be outspoken in his support of state programs that provide economic diversification, job creation and tourism marketing. Please take one minute, right now, to thank Sen. Latvala for his support of Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA.