This week, the Florida Chamber of Commerce launched its 2023 Florida Business Agenda, highlighting where it stands on key business priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
The Florida Chamber’s annual “Where We Stand” business agenda “outlines key issues facing Florida’s job creators and impacting Florida’s competitiveness, along with policy recommendations to keep moving Florida in the right direction.”
“Free enterprise isn’t free. The Florida Chamber fights every day in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. to solve issues that impact local businesses and Florida’s competitiveness,” said Mark Wilson, the president and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “The Florida Business Agenda is our policy framework, developed by Florida’s job creators, representing businesses of all sizes, from Pensacola to Key West, and across all economic sectors and industries in Florida. These legislative priorities will help grow private sector jobs, diversify our economy, and create additional economic opportunities for all Floridians.”
“The Florida Chamber Foundation predicts 2023 is going to be another year of positive growth for Florida, and the Florida Chamber is at the forefront advocating for the policies necessary to seize the opportunity to grow our way to the 10th largest economy in the world. The Florida Chamber’s 2023 Florida Business Agenda is grounded on the Florida 2030 Blueprint and its Six Pillars Framework, with policy recommendations that will advance our mission and achieve goals around improving Florida’s talent pipeline, creating good jobs by diversifying Florida’s economy, preparing Florida’s infrastructure for smart growth and development, building the perfect climate for business, making government and civics more efficient and effective, and championing Florida’s quality of life,” the Florida Chamber noted.
The following are a few top priorities the Florida Chamber will be advocating for during this legislative session.
Fixing Florida’s Broken Lawsuit Abuse Problem: Improving Florida’s Bottom-Five Legal Climate
Florida’s bottom-five legal climate is costing Florida families an additional $5,065 a year in increased costs on everything from the price of a gallon of milk to the costs driving up auto insurance premiums. Florida has the highest tort costs in the country as a percentage of GDP at 3.63 percent, with no other state higher than 3 percent.
The Florida Chamber’s Litigation and Regulatory Reform Center will work alongside the Florida Justice Reform Institute, the legislature, and others to rein in unnecessary litigation, reduce costs for Florida families and local businesses, and prevent additional avenues to sue in Florida law.
Addressing inflated medical damages by allowing the jury to see the amount generally paid for medical services and curbing abuses surrounding letters of protection. These inflated healthcare costs drive up the cost for future medical damages and non-economic damages when the actual expenses are much lower, which increases costs across the entire system for everyone.
Eliminating Florida’s reputation as a haven for “bad faith” insurance lawsuits by passing meaningful bad faith reforms to compete with other states.
Bringing reasonableness to liability standards so small businesses aren’t on the hook for damages when a plaintiff is 99 percent at fault.
Eliminating the use of a contingency fee multiplier to disincentivize frivolous litigation.
Fully repealing the fee-shifting, one-way attorney fee statutes that incentivize litigation because there’s no skin in the game for the plaintiff.
Attainable Workforce Housing:
Ensuring Floridians Can Afford to Work and Live in the Communities they Serve
The Florida Chamber recognizes that for many Floridians, rising housing costs are a significant issue, which hurts Florida’s competitiveness, affordability, and quality of life. Recognizing the concern of business leaders, the Florida Chamber incorporated the availability of diverse and attainable housing to meet future demand as one of its 2030 goals. To get there:
The Florida Chamber supports an “all-of-the-above” strategy for increasing the accessibility and supply of housing.
Greater connectivity will expand the radius of housing opportunities; new builds at all levels and price points will increase the options for working Floridians; dedicated funding will supplement homeownership and rental opportunities for our growing workforce, and addressing local zoning restrictions and regulations that artificially constrain supply will accelerate appropriate development.
Preparing Florida’s Future Workforce: K-12 Talent Development
The Florida Chamber believes there is no one-size-fits-all path for today’s learners to become tomorrow’s earners. Providing opportunities to engage in workforce experiences and raising awareness of industry career needs while in school will help streamline the transition for Florida students into the workforce. To appropriately prepare students, the Florida Chamber supports:
Further expanding school choice options to ensure every parent can send their student to the academic institution or learning environment that best fits their child’s individual needs. No student’s zip code should determine the ceiling of their opportunity for earned success.
Allowing students to complete technical certificates, industry certifications, or other credentials of value in a short amount of time that will give them a competitive edge in securing a high-wage job.
Long-Term Infrastructure Investments: Meeting the Needs of a Growing Florida
Florida’s success is best illustrated by the nation-leading migration of people and capital into our state. With over 1,000 new residents calling Florida home each day, this growth can be either a challenge or an opportunity based on how we plan now. The 2.8 million new residents, 40 million additional visitors, and 2.4 million extra drivers on Florida roads we expect by 2030 will require infrastructure to support their quality of life and our continued economic competitiveness. The Florida Chamber supports:
Forward-looking investment in our transportation, water, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure.
Continued focus on resiliency, smart growth, and connectivity of people to places and goods to markets to meet the needs of Florida families and local businesses.
As we work to grow Florida to the 10th largest global economy by 2030, the Florida Chamber is uniting Florida’s job creators for good, fighting for economic opportunities for all and increasing private-sector jobs. As we move forward with our legislative priorities, we look forward to working with Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, and Speaker of the House Paul Renner to ensure the right things keep happening in Florida.
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