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Florida Chamber Launches Its 2019 Jobs and Competitiveness Agenda

February 21, 2019 - 9:30am
Mark Wilson, Chamber president and CEO

Business leaders from throughout Florida were in the Capital City Wednesday as part of the Florida Chamber’s 2019 Legislative Fly-In and have been sharing the 2019 Jobs Agenda, which the Chamber believes will help Florida create at least 150,000 new jobs this year.

Good jobs and economic growth are essential to Securing Florida’s Future, the Chamber says on its Agenda. The Chamber is calling on lawmakers to make Florida more competitive by:

  • Lowering the Cost of Living,

  • Reducing the Cost of Doing Business, and

  • Preparing for the Future Growth.

“The Florida Chamber’s annual jobs and competitiveness agenda -- commonly known as the Florida Business Agenda -- is a set of priorities that will help grow private sector jobs, continue to create economic opportunity in Florida and further diversify our economy,” said Bob Grammig, chair, Florida Chamber Board of Directors and partner, Holland & Knight.

For the last eight years, Florida has outpaced the U.S. economy in job growth. Growing at just under 900 net new residents daily, Florida Chamber Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish predicts Florida will create 150,000 new jobs in 2019 and that the Sunshine State has a very low probability of recession.

“If Florida were a stock, it would be considered a strong buy. While Florida’s economic outlook for 2019 is positive, it’s not without risks, which is why passing the Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda is so important,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Florida Chamber’s 2019 Jobs Agenda Includes:

Lowering the Cost of Living:

Due in large part to fraud and related trial lawyer tactics (Assignment of Benefits scams), Floridians currently pay the second highest auto insurance rates, and 90 percent of homeowners are facing rate increases in their property insurance rates. It’s time for lawmakers to put consumers ahead of trial lawyers.

The Florida Legislature should put consumers ahead of trial lawyers and finally end AOB scams that the Wall Street Journal and others have consistently written about.

Reducing Florida’s Cost of Doing Business:

Florida’s bottom five legal environment is an open invitation for “gotcha” lawsuits that cost Florida families more than $4,442 each year.

The Florida Legislature should fix Florida’s broken lawsuit climate.

Discouraging and discriminatory tax policies, like the Florida-only business rent tax and internet sales tax, are uncompetitive.

The Florida Legislature should advance globally competitive tax policies by reducing the Business Rent Tax and fixing the internet sales tax situation.

Continue fighting for policies and workers’ comp reforms that keep workers safe, fairly compensates workers when they’re injured and brings stability and predictability to the market.

The Florida Legislature should fix Florida’s workers’ compensation system before rates begin to explode again.

Preparing for the Future Growth:

In Florida, there are 335,000 people looking for jobs and 273,700 jobs looking for people. Finding a qualified workforce is a top concern for job creators. Employers need talent that is prepared to enter the workforce, and Florida wins when we close the talent gap.

The Florida Legislature should:

  • Prepare Florida’s workforce to address Florida’s skills gap.

  • Improve attainment and access to higher education and post-secondary learning.

  • By 2030, 5 million more residents will call Florida home. A growing Florida means a growing need for smarter infrastructure investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, agriculture and other hard and soft infrastructure sectors.

The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition recommends that the Florida Legislature:

  • Champion innovations and adequate funding in all modes of transportation

  • Secure affordable, efficient and sustainable energy solutions

  • Champion long-term, sustainable water and environmental policies

  • Ensure proactive economic planning and development

“Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been at the forefront of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. Our focus remains steadfast in our efforts to be the driving force uniting Florida’s business community, creating economic opportunity and growing jobs,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

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