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2014 Agenda Creates Greater Opportunities for Families & Small Businesses
TALLAHASSEE, FL (May 2, 2014) –Building on our multi-year competitiveness agenda, the Florida Chamber of Commerce thanks Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Legislature and Florida’s job creators for helping to provide the state of Florida a $1.2 billion revenue surplus which made it possible for Governor Scott’s $500 million tax cut package. The Florida Chamber also commends Governor Scott and the legislature for making important strides in further improving education and preparing Florida’s future workforce, which will help position Florida for greater job growth.
“Thanks to Governor Scott’s leadership, Florida is adding jobs and cutting taxes for Florida families and job creators, and this legislative session, lawmakers created even more opportunities for Florida to succeed,” said Eric Silagy, 2014 Chair of the Florida Chamber and President of Florida Power & Light Company.
Among the pro-jobs priorities the Florida Legislature passed are:
Targeted Tax Cuts: Providing $500 million in tax cuts to Florida’s families and small businesses through reductions in auto tag fees, back-to-school and hurricane preparedness tax holidays, and more.
Strengthening Education & Building Tomorrow’s Workforce: Florida’s elected officials continued to champion higher standards to help ensure a globally competitive talent pipeline. Lawmakers passed the A-F school grading system, expanding Career and Professional Education (CAPE), expanding education choices, increasing access to education and medical services for students with disabilities, and providing more students with access to Florida Tax Credit Scholarships. And in higher education, passing education performance funding.
Business Climate & Economic Growth: Preventing trial lawyers from making unreasonable claims against capital investors and lenders who have no role in daily decisions of a business. Strengthening global trade and manufacturing by adopting recommendations from the Florida Chamber Foundation, and funding Enterprise Florida’s operation and economic development toolkit.
Improving Water Resources: Preparing for Florida’s growing population through sustainable water storage and reclaimed water programs, and dedicating funding to help protect and restore the Everglades and related waterways and springs.
While this session will be remembered for tax cuts, the Florida Chamber thanks lawmakers for supporting Florida’s competitiveness agenda by:
Preventing the expansion of Las Vegas-style casino gambling,
Investing $10.1 billion in transportation infrastructure without raiding the trust fund,
Investing $74 million in Visit Florida to help continue record-breaking tourism numbers,
Investing $167.7 million in the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds,
Investing $71 million in Enterprise Florida for economic development, and
Not increasing taxes and fees on job creators.
“Without a tax or fee increase since Charlie Crist left office, Florida has added over 563,000 private-sector jobs, returned to our AAA bond rating, reduced the state’s debt and increased the reserves to over $3.1 billion,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “And today, thanks to Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, families and small businesses will have $500 million in tax cuts put back into their pockets. Governor Scott’s leadership is helping Florida’s job creators teach America an important lesson in economics and free enterprise.”
“The Florida Chamber congratulates Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford for setting a new standard in teamwork, trust and collaboration, and for running smooth operating chambers,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber.
The Florida Chamber will soon release its annual How They Voted publication – a Legislative Report Card which provides the business community with the actual voting records of all 160 legislators on their pro-jobs, pro-business action or inaction on approximately 8,000.
The next stop for Florida Chamber-backed legislation is Governor Scott’s desk. Already, Governor Scott has signed one Florida Chamber bill into law – the Florida GI Bill. We look forward to working with Governor Scott to ensure remaining bills are signed into law.
Elections are coming and the Florida Chamber’s Political Action team is already interviewing candidates, hosting fund raisers and preparing to champion pro-business candidates that will help secure Florida’s future.
The Florida Chamber also commends Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for their efforts to help secure Florida’s future.
Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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.