Senate Committee Passes E-Verify Proposal

On February 11, 2020, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an E-Verify proposal, SB 664, but not before making dramatic changes.

The original deeply problematic bill was amended to include important provisions, including safe harbor provisions for businesses following the law as well as protections for small businesses.

The Florida Chamber shared its support of the amendment, sponsored by Senator David Simmons, in advance of the committee meeting, and Florida Chamber Policy Director Christopher Emmanuel testified in support of the amendment during the committee meeting.

“The amendment provides significant improvements to the original bill,” Emmanuel shared with lawmakers and told the Miami Herald.

The Florida Chamber will always have reservations on state-specific mandates, especially on areas of policy that should be handled at the federal level of government. But Senator Tom Lee, the sponsor of the bill, said in committee that this bill is still a work in progress.

The Florida Chamber looks forward to being a part of the conversation.

Share Your Thoughts

Share your thoughts on SB 664 with Christopher Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com.

Florida Chamber Urges Senate to Support HB 405, Linear Facilities

 

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To: Florida Senate

The Florida Chamber of Commerce urges you to support HB 405, related to Linear Facilities. This bill, sponsored by Representative Jayer Williamson will be heard on Wednesday, February 21th, on the Senate Special Order Calendar.

The Florida Chamber recognizes that Florida will be home to 5.5 million more residents by 2030. Each of those new residents, as well as over a hundred million annual visitors, will need a reliable and safe electrical grid. In order to secure Florida’s energy future, planning decisions and regulations for many of these facilities should continue to be made at a comprehensive level, rather than through a patchwork of local zoning regulations. This legislation is supported by Florida’s business community because this bill:

  • Changes case law back to the original legislative intent of the Power Plant Siting Act and the Transmission Line Siting Act; and
  • Brings back regulatory certainty to the practice of lawfully siting transmission lines.The Florida Chamber urges you to support HB 405, and will consider votes on this legislation, and any substantive amendments to it in committee or on the floor, in our annual How They Voted report card. The grade that you earn will be based on your voting record on the issues, such as this one, that are outlined in Where We Stand, a guide to Florida’s 2018 Business Agenda. We will make every effort to notify you prior to a vote that may be included in our annual legislative report card. If you have any questions about this or other issues on the 2018 Business Agenda, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Frank C. Walker, III
Vice President of Government Affairs

Florida Chamber Urges Senate Committee to Support SB 494

 

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To: Senate Community Affairs Committee

The Florida Chamber of Commerce urges you to support SB 494, related to Linear Facilities. This bill, sponsored by Senator Tom Lee will be heard on Tuesday, January 16th, in the Senate Community Affairs Committee.

The Florida Chamber recognizes that Florida will be home to 5.5 million more residents by 2030. Each of those new residents, as well as over a hundred million annual visitors, will need a reliable and safe electrical grid. In order to secure Florida’s energy future, planning decisions and regulations for many of these facilities should continue to be made at a comprehensive level, rather than through a patchwork of local zoning regulations. This legislation is supported by Florida’s business community because this bill:

  • Changes case law back to the original legislative intent of the Power Plant Siting Act and the Transmission Line Siting Act; and
  • Brings back regulatory certainty to the practice of lawfully siting transmission lines.The Florida Chamber urges you to support SB 494, and will consider votes on this legislation, and any substantive amendments to it in committee or on the floor, in our annual How They Voted report card. The grade that you earn will be based on your voting record on the issues, such as this one, that are outlined in Where We Stand, a guide to Florida’s 2018 Business Agenda. We will make every effort to notify you prior to a vote that may be included in our annual legislative report card. If you have any questions about this or other issues on the 2018 Business Agenda, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Frank C. Walker, III
Vice President of Government Affairs

Florida Chamber Urges Senate Committee to Support SB 494

 

Download Letter   Energy Solutions

 

To: Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee

The Florida Chamber of Commerce urges you to support SB 494, related to Linear Facilities. This bill, sponsored by Senator Tom Lee will be heard on Tuesday, November 14th, in the Senate Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee.

The Florida Chamber recognizes that Florida will be home to 5.5 million more residents by 2030. Each of those new residents, as well as over a hundred million annual visitors, will need a reliable and safe electrical grid. In order to secure Florida’s energy future, planning decisions and regulations for many of these facilities should continue to be made at a comprehensive level, rather than through a patchwork of local zoning regulations. This legislation is supported by Florida’s business community because this bill:

– Changes case law back to the original legislative intent of the Power Plant Siting Act and the Transmission Line Siting Act; and

– Brings back regulatory certainty to the practice of lawfully siting transmission lines.

The Florida Chamber urges you to support SB 494, and will consider votes on this legislation, and any substantive amendments to it in committee or on the floor, in our annual How They Voted report card. The grade that you earn will be based on your voting record on the issues. We will make every effort to notify you prior to a vote that may be included in our annual legislative report card. If you have any questions about this or other, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Frank C. Walker, III
Vice President of Government Affairs

Urge Rep. Corcoran and Sen. Lee to “Market Florida”

Budget negotiations between the Florida House and Senate are winding down. The budget debate now lies in the hands of Rep. Richard Corcoran (R-Lutz) and Sen. Tom  Lee (R-Brandon).

We need your help contacting Rep. Corcoran and Sen. Lee urging them to support the “Market Florida” effort (more information below). Please click the “Take Action Now” button to send these two lawmakers a message in less than a minute.

Important Facts You Need to Know About The “Market Florida” Campaign:

  •  Did you know Florida has the 2nd best business climate in the nation? If we don’t tell people, how will anybody know?
  • The initial proposals from both the House and Senate during the regular legislative session only funded the “Market Florida” effort by 25 percent – or less in the House budget – of our recommended investment.
  • 38 organizations, including chambers of commerce, economic development groups, private-sector businesses and local governments have signed our Market Florida resolution.
  • We can’t afford to have Florida be America’s “best kept secret”— but we need your help to change that!

Take Action Now

Click the “take action now” button to send an email to key legislators in your area. Encourage them to support the “Market Florida” initiative. This will only take a minute.

 

Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line: Sen. Tom Lee Discusses Florida’s Budget, Tax Cuts and More

“We are really fortunate here in Florida that thanks to the [Florida] Chamber of Commerce and a lot of other people who are moving a pro-business agenda forward, our Governor, we are growing revenues here in our state,” said  Senator Tom Lee, Senate Appropriations Chair. “Asset values are up, unemployment is down, things are moving in the right direction- we have an additional billion dollars this year.”

But while Florida is moving in the right direction, our work is far from over.

“There are a lot of opportunities on how we allocate those resources,” said Sen. Lee. “But we have some challenges in the implementation of Amendment 1, and we have teaching hospitals and hospitals that do a lot of unreimbursed care that are being hit by the decision by the CMS on funding out of Washington, so we have to deal with some of those things.”

While the voters spoke on Amendment 1, concerns still remain on the impact of setting a  budget through constitutional mandates, particularly to programs that also used portions of the document stamps tax, such as Affordable Housing and transportation.

“Some of that money was going somewhere else beforehand so we have to find some way to backfill those programs like Affordable Housing and transportation, both of them have a huge multiplier effect on our economy, they create jobs,” explained Sen. Lee. “As we look to solutions to the problems that we are facing with the low income pool going away in our state, trying to find a way to hold transportation and affordable housing harmless is going to be a huge priority.”

At the Florida Chamber, we believe the Governor’s plan for targeted tax reform is good for our economy and is one solution to budgeting challenges- particularly when it comes to communications services tax and the tax on commercial sales leases. In fact, Florida is currently the only state in the nation that charges a communications services tax.

“There are proposals moving through the legislature on a communications services tax and one related to reducing the tax on commercial leases,” said Sen. Lee. “As a landlord in the commercial real estate businesses, that one has particular affinity to me. Both of them are very broad based, both of them will have sweeping impacts across the spectrum of small business and individuals who pay those taxes, whether they are passed down through businesses or directly on their cell phone bills. The question is really going to become- how much money do we have to spend, so how far down that list of priorities that have been set are we going to be able to buy these tax cuts?”

As Florida’s Legislative Session undergoes its third week, Sen. Lee remains hopeful on Florida’s direction.

“Aren’t we fortunate to be in a state where we are talking about cutting taxes in the context of the national government, that’s talking about raising them?”