The Associated Industries of Florida unveiled its top priorities for Florida businesses during this year’s legislative session on Monday.
Each year, the “Voice of Florida Business” outlines its agenda for the annual legislative session, routinely supporting pro-business policies to advance
“Each year, Florida’s business community faces a variety of tough issues and 2018 will be no exception,” wrote AIF CEO Tom Feeney.
Among AIF’s top priorities this year is passing Gov. Rick Scott’s $87.4 billion budget proposal, the highest proposal Scott has ever made during his two terms in office.
AIF said it wholeheartedly supported Scott’s vision for tax cuts, which it said would be a boon to families and businesses around the state.
“[Scott’s] proposed spending plan, which includes $180 million in tax cuts, will go a long way in continuing to help our state achieve the prosperity and growth our Florida families deserve,” Feeney said. “Governor Scott is clearly on a mission to ensure Florida job creators are excelling and Florida families are benefiting from a pro-business environment in their home state, and we congratulate him and the Florida Legislature on making Florida one of the best places to do business in the United States.”
When it came to economic development, AIF said it would oppose a Florida Constitution Revision Commission proposal to require all employers in Florida to use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Employment Authorization Program, known as E-Verify, to determine the eligibility of future employees, fearing an increase in racial profiling in the Sunshine State.
“Mandating E-Verify would have a negative effect on employers, especially those small business owners who do not have full-fledged human resource departments,” AIF said of the measure.
When it comes to education, AIF pledged its support for investing more money in the Florida Resident Access Grant program as well as encouraging grant program matching for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medical (STEMM) degrees.
AIF said it would support legislation aiming to clean up Lake Okeechobee discharges and restore the Florida Everglades as well as condone the use of both deep well injection and Aquifer Storage and Recovery to alleviate wet-weather discharges from Lake Okeechobee and local drainage basins.
“This year, AIF will be focused on continuing to fight against policies that will increase the cost of health care for Florida’s business community, such as prior authorization, retroactive denial of claims and removal of step-therapy protocols.”
“AIF is proud to always be involved in a multitude of industries that fuel our economy from the Panhandle to the Keys,” said Feeney. “This year is no different. AIF plans to continue our fight to protect Florida’s job creators in our state Capitol.”
The coalition of businesses sends its annual legislative priorities to all 160 members of the Florida Legislature, the Florida Cabinet and Agency Secretaries as well as AIF members before the annual legislative session begins.
To view the full legislative agenda, click here.
The 2018 legislative session begins Tuesday.