Florida Chamber sums up likes, dislikes this Session - Florida Politics

Florida Chamber sums up likes, dislikes this Session

The Florida Chamber of Commerce wanted to see the cost of living for Floridians reduced this Session, but after lawmakers’ focus turned to the Parkland school massacre, the measures passed by the Legislature did not impress the organization.

“Rightly so, the last three weeks of Session were focused on school safety following the Parkland tragedy,” said Mark Wilson, the president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“Unfortunately,” Wilson added, “when you look at the other work of the Legislature, on balance they made it a little more expensive for families and a little less competitive for businesses.”

The Florida Chamber worked to defeat efforts that it believed would have “further worsened Florida’s abysmal lawsuit abuse climate,” which included a PIP repeal without accompanying bad faith lawsuit reforms.

Among the proposals the chamber is proud to have helped block in the Republican-controlled Legislature were a ban on plastic bags, increasing the minimum wage, added hurricane-related employer mandates, open-carry liability and gambling expansion.

The chamber was also happy to see the Legislature pass a $10.5 billion transportation budget, funding for computer science classes in state schools, making it easier to decertify public employee unions, and a proposal that will make it harder to raise taxes and fees in the future.

The organization was quick to point the finger at “some in the Florida Senate” for not advancing “pro-job legislation,” it says would have improved the cost of living for Floridians. In other words: the Senate did not push to lower automobile insurance rates and workers’ compensation rates.

“While we’re looking forward to working with future leadership, the Florida Chamber looks forward to ensuring candidates that believe in jobs and growing the economy to support families are elected during the 2018 election cycle,” said former House Speaker Will Weatherford, who is the chair of the Florida Chamber Political Council.

The Florida Chamber will soon release its annual legislative report card.

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