Florida Chamber names Wilton Simpson 2021’s ‘Most Valuable Legislator’
Image via Colin Hackley.

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The award recognizes a lawmaker who championed Chamber priorities.

Senate President Wilton Simpson is the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s pick for this year’s “Most Valuable Legislator” award.

The Florida Chamber said Simpson’s first Legislative Session leading the Senate was a stellar one, resulting in nearly two-dozen Chamber priorities making it to the Governor’s desk.

Among the many: COVID-19 liability protections, online sales tax reform, strengthening Florida’s Unemployment Comp Trust Fund, and a cut to the commercial rents sales tax from 5.5% to 2%.

“The same innovation, resilience and spirit of Florida’s businesses that kept our state afloat during the pandemic are leading us back to pre-crisis economic prosperity,” Simpson said.

“As a farmer and a business owner myself, I understand first-hand the sacrifices and commitment our business families made to ensure Floridians had the goods, services and safe food supply needed to get through these challenging times, and it was our responsibility to have their backs as we addressed important issues. The Florida Chamber has been a steadfast partner for us as we’ve worked to make Florida the most business-friendly state in the country, and I am grateful to them for this acknowledgement of that partnership.”

The Chamber described the MVL award as the business community’s premier legislative award honoring a single Florida lawmaker for their outstanding legislative leadership in policy that will keep Florida competitive and willingness to stand up for free enterprise.

“The Florida Chamber’s close partnership with Senate President Wilton Simpson this year led to 22 Chamber priorities reaching Governor DeSantis’ desk, several of which were legacy issues that have been years in the making,” Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson said.

“Further, his steadfast support of Florida’s job creators was also central to preventing several harmful bills from passing both chambers, such as the data privacy bill, which included the trial lawyers’ dream of another new private cause of action.”

The MVL announcement comes after the Chamber last month recognized 23 lawmakers with its 2021 Distinguished Advocate Award. Like the MVL, the Distinguished Advocate Award recognizes lawmakers who fought for Chamber-backed policies during the Legislative Session.

“Senate President Wilton Simpson is a successful farmer, businessman and a Florida Chamber member who has championed free enterprise since he entered the Senate in 2012,” said David Hart, the Chamber’s vice president of government and political relations. “For the big wins we shared this Legislative Session and for his close partnership and shared values, the Florida Chamber is pleased to recognize our friend Wilton Simpson as the Florida Chamber’s 2021 Most Valuable Legislator.”

Simpson’s MVL comes a few days after the Chamber released its annual Legislative Report Card, which grades all 160 lawmakers based on votes they cast on business priorities during Session.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


2 comments

  • monday

    June 28, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Florida is just a catastrophic disaster zone waiting to happen. Cost up in the trillions.

    • monday

      June 28, 2021 at 10:01 am

      where oh where to the oranges go where oh were have they gone.

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