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A weekly report on the impact of the Legislative Session on business.                         

             WEEK 5: April 7, 2017 

 

 

This week marked the halfway point of the 2017 Legislative Session, and 22 scored bills on the Florida Chamber's 2017 Competitiveness Agenda saw legislative action.

 

From Tallahassee to Washington, D.C., the Florida Chamber's team of more than 25 lobbyists were working to secure Florida's future in the nation's Capital as well as the state Capitol. From meeting with members of Florida's Congressional Delegation in support of federal tax reform, to advocating #MakeFLMoreCompetitive through the Florida Business Agenda, the Florida Chamber's fight for free enterprise continues.

 

 

#MakeFLMoreCompetitive:

  • Fixing Workers' Compensation: With support of the Florida Chamber's Workers' Comp Task Force, lawmakers made strides this week to contain costs and bring stability and help fix Florida's workers' comp system. HB 7085 protects workers, while also clamping down on attorney fees.
  • Cutting Business Rent Taxes: The Florida Chamber's CutMyBizRent.Tax Coalition this week praises the Florida House Ways and Means Committee for taking steps to reduce this Florida-only tax by over $300 million.
  • Lawsuit Abuse Reform: The Florida Chamber's Consumer Protection Coalition this week called on lawmakers to protect consumers from Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse - a rapidly growing scam hurting hardworking Floridians and raising insurance rates. Learn why the time to act is now by clicking here.
  • Protecting Florida's Family Friendly Brand: The Florida Chamber's 20-year long opposition to the expansion of Las Vegas-style casino gambling stood strong this week when the Florida House struck the upper chamber's efforts to dramatically expand gambling, and replaced them with the House-proposed Seminole Compact..
  • Embracing Innovative Industries: The Florida House this week passed a Florida Chamber-backed ridesharing measure to provide a safe, consistent and responsible statewide regulatory framework - over a patchwork of burdensome regulations. The measure is also progressing nicely in the Florida Senate.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

 

"We are facing a water damage and AOB lawsuit hurricane. A cottage industry of trial attorney firms - often partnering with a relatively small group of home repair vendors - are driving the vast majority of lawsuits against Citizens." 

 

- Barry Gilway, President and CEO, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

 

TOP HEADLINES:

 

STAY INFORMED:
Learn more about the realities of what's happening and what's to come this legislative session by registering for our Board of Governors webinar and conference call on Monday, April 24.

 

 

Below is a review of legislative activity from Week 5 of the 2017 Legislative Session.

 

 

 

IN THIS ISSUE

Talent Supply & Education

Innovation & Economic Development

Infrastructure & Growth Leadership

Business Climate & Competitiveness

Civic & Governance Systems

Quality of Life and Quality Places

 

CLOSING FLORIDA'S TALENT GAP BY IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

At the Florida Chamber, we believe a quality education and workforce development system is Florida's best long-term economic development strategy. We need to work toward filling the gap created between Florida's current education system and the needs of Florida's employers by diversifying our economy and creating job opportunities for future generations.

 

 

 

 

READING 

 

SB 468

Sen. Kelli Stargel

HB 757

Rep. Byron Donalds/

Rep. Jason Fischer



 

Promotes better identification and an enhanced focus on struggling readers in 

PreK - 3rd grade.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED

 

SB 468

Passed the Senate Education Committee, and is now in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K-12 Education.

 

HB 757

The House did not
take action this week.

  

 

 

SCHOOL CHOICE

SB 796

Sen. Aaron Bean

HB 7101
Rep. Bob Cortes



 

Removes barriers that inhibit high-performing charter management organizations from replicating their success and expanding.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED

 


SB 796

The Senate did not
take action this week.

 

HB 7101

Passed the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee, and the House Education Committee.


 

EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS 

 

HB 15

Rep. Jennifer Sullivan

 

SB 902

Sen. David Simmons

 

SB 1314

Sen. Denise Grimsley 



 

Expands eligibility for the Gardiner Scholarship Program and revises provisions relating to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED


HB 15

Passed the House
Education Committee.


SB 902

The Senate did not
take action this week.

 

SB 1314

Passed the Senate Education Committee, and is now in Senate Appropriations.

 

 

DIGITAL LEARNING  & VIRTUAL EDUCATION

 

SB 692

Sen. Baxley

 

HB 833

Rep. Jennifer Sullivan 



 

Removes a requirement
of previous enrollment
in public school for eligibility to participate
in virtual instruction.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED


SB 692
The Senate did not
take action this week.

HB 833
Passed the House Education Committee, and is now on the House Calendar.

 

COMPUTER CODING 

 

SB 104
Sen. Jeff Brandes

No Identical House Bill Exists  




 

Allows students to take computer coding courses in order to satisfy the high school foreign language course requirements.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED


SB 104

The Senate did not
take action this week.

No Identical House Bill Exists  

 

 

K12 ASSESSMENTS

 

HB 773

Rep. Manny Diaz

 

SB 926

Sen. Anitere Flores 



 

Requires the Commissioner of Education to review nationally-recognized college entrance exams to determine alignment to Florida's standards. Additionally, it provides teachers more time to teach by moving the state assessment window to the last three weeks of school and requires easy-to-understand, parent-friendly score reports be utilized.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED


HB 773

The House did not 

take action this week.


SB 926
Passed the Senate Education Committee, and is now in Senate Rules Committee.

 

STEM


SB 274
Sen. Perry Thurston

HB 403
Rep. Wengay Newton



 

Creates the STEM
Teacher Loan
Forgiveness Program.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED


SB 274

The Senate did not
take action this week. 


HB 403
The House did not
take action this week.


EXCELLENCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION

SB 2

Sen. Bill Galvano

 

HB 3

Rep. Bryan Avila




 

Promotes on-time student graduation while responsibly increasing student financial aid and tuition assistance- including allowing
students to use their Bright Futures Scholarship award for summer courses. Additionally, a world-class faculty and scholar program is established, which promotes the prominence
of Florida's graduate
schools and links education to job opportunities by providing internship opportunities to students.


FLORIDA CHAMBER

SUPPORTED

 

 

SB 2

In House messages. The House did not take action this week.

 

HB 3

The House did not
take action this week.


 

EMPOWERING FLORIDA'S BEST TEACHERS

HB 7069

Rep. Michael Bileca  

 

SB 1410

Sen. Keith Perry

 

SB 1552

Sen. David Simmons




 

Expands eligibility criteria for the Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program, which will increase access, and establishes the Best and Brightest Principal Program in order to recognize principals who are able to recruit and retain excellent teachers. 

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED


HB 7069

Placed on the House Special
Order Calendar for April 12.

 

SB 1410
The Senate did not
take action this week.

 

SB 1552

Passed the Senate Education Committee, and is now in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K-12 Education.


 

 

 DIVERSIFYING FLORIDA'S ECONOMY AND CREATING HIGH-WAGE JOBS

With two out of three new jobs in Florida created by small businesses specializing in areas from international trade to rural economic development, Florida needs to stay the course of diversifying our economy.  

 

 

 

RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

HB 1415

Rep. Mel Ponder

SB 936
Sen. Bill Montford
 



 

Improves economic development initiatives for rural areas of opportunity.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER SUPPORTED

 

HB 1415

The House did not
take action this week.

SB 936

The Senate did not
take action this week.

 

 

ECONOMIC PROGRAMS

 

HB 7005
Careers and Competition Subcommittee

No Senate Bill Exists



 

Eliminates the state's role
in economic development
by eliminating Enterprise Florida and two
dozen economic development initia

Published by Orlando Economic Partnership
Copyright ©Orlando Economic Partnership. All rights reserved.