Senator Wilton Simpson Explains Why Tort Reform Can Help Improve High Insurance Costs

Workers’ Comp Rates Set to Drop 7.5 Percent in 2020

There’s good news to share about your workers’ compensation rates. Job creators will continue to see rates drop in 2020.

The Florida Chamber’s 15-year-long fight against high workers’ comp rates has helped lead to rates dropping by more than 65 percent over the years. Fixing Florida’s workers’ comp system is a Florida Chamber priority, and it has helped lead to Florida become one of the nation’s top business climates in the country.

And today, Florida insurance regulators approved a further rate reduction – decreasing rates by an average of 7.5 percent effective January 1, 2020 for new and renewal policies. Much of the decrease is due to an improved loss experience, a decline in the frequency of claims thanks to technology, safer workplaces, improved risk management and a change in industry makeup. These trends have more than offset the increase in attorney fees due to the 2016 Florida Supreme Court decision, Castellanos v. Next Door Company.

But we can’t let our guard down.

Just last week, Senate President Designate Wilton Simpson said during the Florida Chamber’s Future of Florida Forum that rates could be even lower if Florida hadn’t faced a $1.5 billion increase in system costs after the Court’s Castellanos decision.

That’s why the Florida Chamber’s Workers’ Comp Task Force is continuing to stand on the front lines in protecting workers, while also working to reduce cost drivers like attorney fees.

Share Your Advice

If you believe your workers’ comp rates are still too high, sign our petition today to join with job creators as we seek solutions to Florida’s workers’ comp system. Want to learn more about cost drivers in the workers’ comp system? Click HERE to see what the state has to say.

Florida Chamber Names Senator Wilton Simpson a 2018 Distinguished Advocate

 

Find Your Legislator’s Grade

 

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Senator Wilton Simpson has been named a Florida Chamber 2018 Distinguished Advocate for his commitment to championing pro-jobs, pro-business legislation.

“The Florida Chamber thanks Senator Wilton Simpson for working to ensure Florida’s economic development programs can continue to grow globally competitive—a win-win for Florida’s growing jobs and economy,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

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.

“I am honored to be recognized with this award by my good friends at the Florida Chamber. As a businessman myself, I wake up every day thinking about how to grow Florida’s economy and competitiveness, and I can think of no better partner in advancing that cause than the Florida Chamber.” Senator Simpson said.

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

Ridesharing Bill Passes the Florida House 115-0

Florida’s future depends on embracing new types of industries that use cutting edge, and sometimes disruptive, technologies to provide new services demanded by customers across the state. One such example is the rise of ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber, which provide tens of millions of trips to communities across Florida. Some local governments have limited the adoption of ridesharing services by passing a patchwork of unneeded regulations. Today, the Florida House passed the Florida Chamber-backed HB 221 by an overwhelming majority. Sponsored by Representative Chris Sprowls, this bill will provide a safe, consistent, and responsible statewide regulatory framework.

HB 221 will now be sent to the Senate, which has successfully moved the companion bill, SB 340, through two committee stops. The Senate measure is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and is co-sponsored by: Sen. Frank Artiles (R-Miami), Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), Sen. Wilton Simpson (R-Spring Hill), and Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa).

 

Join the Floridians for Ridesharing Coalition

Ridesharing is quickly becoming an important part of Florida’s economy and our state infrastructure system, so getting it right the first time is crucial for Florida’s future. If you’re interested in joining the Florida Chamber and other business and safety organizations in the Floridians for Ridesharing Coalition.

Learn more about where the Florida Chamber stands on ridesharing and other transportation issues, click here or contact Chris Emmanuel to join our fight for Florida’s future.

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.

Know Your Public Records Rights

In March, the Florida Legislature passed a law that changes Florida’s public records policy for businesses that contract with local or state government and helps protect businesses from being sued. Now, a request for public records must be made directly to the public agency. If the public agency does not possess the requested records, the public agency will request records from the contractor.

In a memo to Florida’s business community, Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) outlines the need for businesses to understand the change in this law.

“Businesses are being sued in direct violation of the process outlined in the new law and are then being pressured into paying a cash settlement to avoid going to court. This is wrong,” writes Sen. Simpson.

Protect Your Business:

Has your business been targeted by an illegal public records request? Contact us today and let us know.

Make sure that your employees and General Counsels are aware of the statute change. Click here to view the full bill.

Florida Chamber-Backed Freight Logistics Bill Passes

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

Rep. Ray’s Bill Will Help Make
Florida the Hub for Global Trade

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (April 24, 2015) – Today, a Florida Chamber-backed bill to invest in Florida’s transportation and logistics infrastructure and make Florida more globally competitive is on the way to Governor Scott’s office.

The bill, HB 257 sponsored by Representative Lake Ray (R-Jacksonville), encourages investments in Freight Logistics Zones (areas surrounding and operating with intermodal logistics centers)– attracting new high-wage jobs, growing Florida’s high-skill talent pool and helping to meet Florida’s long-term needs.

“According to research by the Florida Chamber Foundation, investing in Freight Logistics Zones is one of seven key strategies to make Florida more globally competitive,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Freight Logistics Zones encourage regional partnerships and help advance economic development, workforce, and transportation and land use decisions that maximize global opportunities throughout our state. We are proud of legislative champions like Representative Lake Ray for helping to make Florida the hub for global trade.”

We commend Representative Lake Ray and Senator Wilton Simpson for their hard work on this issue. The bill now heads to Governor Scott’s office for his signature.

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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.

Thank Sen. Simpson for Working to Streamline Regulations

Please take a moment to thank Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) for his efforts sponsoring the Florida Chamber-backed developments of regional impacts (DRI) sectors bill that allows landowners and applicants to apply for amendments to local government comprehensive land plans.

Senator Simpson’s efforts will help streamline regulations and embrace proactive economic development to guide future growth.

Take Action Now

Click here to send Sen. Simpson an email thanking him for working to streamline regulations in Florida.