Building on more than 100 pro-job laws enacted within five years, the Florida Chamber of Commerce recently revealed a thorough legislative agenda designed to channel resources and expertise for the benefit of Floridians.
The thorough 2016 Competitiveness Agenda underscores over 30 items in its mission to position Florida as a strong private sector job creator, including a pro-business tax climate, cultivation of a talented workforce to fill jobs via continued education reform, economic diversity, improved water policy, and better health-care outcomes.
While acknowledging great progress made in the state’s economic climate — noting that during Gov. Rick Scott’s tenure, over 941,000 positions have been created, close to 3,000 regulations have been streamlined, and Florida’s unemployment rate is at an all-time seven-year low — the chamber cautioned against complacency.
“Florida is in competition for private-sector jobs. We must ensure a tax and business climate that is welcoming to job growth, ensure that we have a talented workforce, and lower the cost of health care through better outcomes," Mark Wilson, Florida Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said. “Now is the time to put Florida’s long-term economic security ahead of short-term political fixes.”
The chamber’s agenda seeks to lower the cost of living for Florida’s families and businesses with approximately $1 billion in directly targeted tax cuts to commercial leases, corporate income tax, and sales tax. Additionally, the chamber recommends ensuring a talented workforce through pro-active education initiatives; diversifying the state’s business climate; addressing legal inequities; planning for a sustainable water supply; and lowering health-care costs regardless of Medicaid issues by demanding greater transparency, eliminating fraud, utilizing telemedicine, and allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to fully demonstrate their potential.
The Florida Chamber plans to lobby, track and score its priorities during the current Legislative session. The agenda is a blueprint based on input from chamber members, local chambers of commerce, partner associations, research, and additional matters from 2015.