HOW THEY dd Florida Chamber of Commerce by mikeholy


           Where Legislators Stood on the
 Florida Chamber ’s 2012 Business Agenda

                      SECURING FLORIDA’S FUTURE
    2012 Legislative Summary
                                                 Dear Florida Chamber Members and Friends:

                                                 T  o secure Florida’s future and build on an aggressive multi-year agenda for jobs,
                                                    lawmakers ended the 2012 Legislative Session by passing 22 Florida Chamber-
                                                 backed pro-business, pro-jobs bills and defeating three anti-business bills. Florida
                                                 Chamber-supported bills are designed to strengthen job creation, boost Florida’s
                                                 economic recovery and help position our state to once again be the No. 1 job creator in
                                                 the nation. The Florida Chamber’s 2012 How They Voted is a comprehensive overview
                                                 of what passed, what didn’t and how all 160 state legislators voted on your priorities.
                                                 Early on, the Florida Chamber encouraged lawmakers to build on efforts to transition
                                                 Florida to an innovation-based economy by putting the long-term health of Florida
                          Anthony Connelly       ahead of short-term politics. Faced with a $2 billion budget gap, the challenges of
          Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce     redistricting, election year politics and the attempted expansion of Las Vegas-style
                   Senior Vice President & CFO   casino gambling, lawmakers agreed with Florida’s voice of business by putting the
            Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, U.S.    status quo aside and voting to lead Florida forward through private-sector job creation.
                                                 This session, 2,000-plus bills were filed and 292 ultimately passed. Thanks to strong
                                                 support from the grassroots involvement of Florida Chamber members and partners,
                                                 lawmakers embraced the Florida Chamber’s agenda to secure Florida’s future
                                                 by reducing the cost of doing business, eliminating more than 270 outdated and
                                                 burdensome regulations, reforming Florida’s fraudulent auto insurance (PIP) system,
                                                 and reducing unemployment compensation taxes that will save Florida’s business
                                                 community nearly $550 million over the next two years.
                                                 The Florida Chamber’s How They Voted includes:
                                                 £ The Florida Chamber’s Business Agenda Report – An overview of Florida
                                                   Chamber-backed priorities during the 2012 session.
                                                 £ The Florida Chamber’s Most Valuable Legislator Award – Recognizes House
                                                   Speaker Dean Cannon for his leadership in fighting for the business community on
                              Mark Wilson          numerous Florida Chamber-backed priorities, including championing a bill to save
                          President and CEO        Florida businesses $62 million in workers’ compensation premiums.
                Florida Chamber of Commerce
                                                 £ The Florida Chamber’s 2012 Distinguished Advocate Awards – Legislators who
                                                   stood strong with the Florida Chamber this session.
                                                 £ The Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card – A comprehensive report, based on
                                                   thousands of votes, providing Florida Chamber members transparency on how their
          “I would especially like to
                                                   legislators voted on key issues.
     thank our association partners
                                                 Governor Rick Scott has already signed many Florida Chamber-backed bills into law, and we
           and local chambers who                are hopeful he will maintain his perfect batting average by signing the remainder into law.
        fought tirelessly to advance             While passing more issues than expected this session, there is still more work to be
              the agenda for jobs.”              done, and the Chamber’s Policy Council is already working on unfinished business
                                                 in preparation for the 2013 agenda for jobs.
                             Mark Wilson
                       President and CEO         Building on our efforts to secure Florida’s future, the Florida Chamber’s Political
            Florida Chamber of Commerce          Operations team is laser-focused on the 2012 election cycle — evaluating each
                                                 legislator’s report card grade, interviewing nearly every House and Senate candidate
                                                 and fundraising to elect pro-business candidates.
                                                 On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank you for your continued support and leadership.
                                                 With your strong commitment, the fight to secure Florida’s future through free enterprise
                        GET INVOLVED:            goes on.
           To help the Florida Chamber
                 secure Florida’s future,
                                                                   Anthony Connelly                               Mark Wilson
       visit,                       Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce                   President and CEO
          e-mail                           Senior Vice President & CFO                 Florida Chamber of Commerce
                    or call 850-521-1265.                   Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, U.S.
Table of Contents
2012 Legislative Summary      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2    Most Valuable Legislator .   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   18

Talent Supply & Education.    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4    Distinguished Advocate Awards            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   19
  • Digital Learning (HB 7063)
  • Tax Credit Scholarship Program (HB 859)                                            Senate 2012 Legislative Report Card                . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   20
  • Higher Education Governance &
    STEM Emphasis (HB 7135)                                                            House 2012 Legislative Report Card .               . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   21

Innovation & Economic Development                   . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6    Florida’s 2012 Political Landscape .           . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   32
  • Freight Mobility and Seaport Funding
     (HB 5001/SB 1998/HB 599)
                                                                                       Help Secure Florida’s Future –
  • Spaceport Legislation: Territory (HB 59)
                                                                                       Join the Florida Chamber! . . . . .    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   34
    Facilities (SB 634)
  • Economic Development Package (HB 7087)
  • Current and Former Military Personnel (SB 922)                                     2012 Future of Florida Forum & Annual Meeting                            . . . . .   35

Infrastructure & Growth Leadership .            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
 • Transportation Investments & Job Creation
     (SB 1998/HB 599)
 •   Numeric Nutrient Criteria (HB 7051)
 •   Environmental Regulation Reform (HB 503)
 •   Reclaimed Water (HB 639)
 •   Environmental Resource Permitting (HB 7003)
 •   Growth Management Glitch Bill (HB 7081)
 •   Developments of Regional Impact (HB 979)

Business Climate & Competitiveness                . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     10
 • Reducing Auto Insurance Fraud/
   PIP Reform (HB 119 / SB 1860)
 • Citizens Property Insurance Reform
     (SB 1346 / HB 1127)
 • Unemployment Compensation Tax Relief
     (SB 1416 / HB 7027)
 • Tangible Personal Property Tax (SB 1064 / HB 1003)

Civic & Governance Systems .      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     14
  • State Government Rules Repeal (HB 7029)
  • Administrative Authority to Reduce Regulatory
    Burdens (HB 7055)
  • One-Stop Business Registration Portal (HB 5501)

Quality of Life & Quality Places .      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     16
  • Expansion of Gambling: Destination Casinos
     (SB 710 / HB 487)
  • Graduate Medical Education Funding (SB 730)

                PHOTO CREDITS: Cover: Florida House chamber photo by Colin Hackley • Contents page: Photo by Colin Hackley

                                                     TALENT SUPPLY & EDUCATION

    Talent Supply & Education
                                                  A   talented workforce is Florida’s best economic development tool toward ensuring
                                                      businesses can successfully compete in the global marketplace. To secure
                                                  Florida’s future, the Florida Chamber continues building on its long-standing
                                                  efforts to champion bold education reform policy centered on accountability,
                                                  measuring successes and failures, rewarding good teachers and providing parents
                                                  and students with options to achieve education success.

                                                  DIGITAL LEARNING
                                                  (HB 7063)                     Florida Chamber Foundation Fact:
                                                  Learning with 21st
     In early 2012, Florida Chamber President     century technology tools      Florida Virtual School
             Mark Wilson, Florida’s Education     will help prepare Florida         2010-2011
                                                  students for entry into a      SCHOOL YEAR        Florida Virtual School
       Commissioner Gerard Robinson, Talent
                                                  high-skill, technology-          Students        122,000+
        Supply Policy Director Ryan West, and
      Executive Vice President David Hart met
                                                  centered economy. To                served                    100%          report that
                                                  prepare students for                             259,928
                                                                                                                  of Florida
                                                                                                                              FLVS provides
     to discuss Florida’s education options and                                   Half-credit                       districts
                                                  a global marketplace,        enrollments                                    a ‘REAL BENEFIT’
                               school rankings.   the legislature passed                                                      to their students
                                                  a Florida Chamber-
                                                  backed digital
                                                  learning bill allowing         Source: Florida Virtual School
                                                  students entering
                                                  K-5 to participate in             For additional Talent Supply & Education metrics,
                                                  full-time offerings at                     visit
                                                  school district virtual
               “Recognizing that talent is        instruction programs, virtual charter schools and Florida Virtual School.
                 Florida’s key competitive
                                                  Sponsored by Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and Rep. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), the
           advantage, Workforce Florida           bill removes restrictive barriers and allows part-time digital learning opportunities to
         and the Florida Chamber have             students in grades 4-5. Governor Scott is expected to sign this bill into law.
             a history of collaborating to
              ensure our state remains a          TAX CREDIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM (HB 859)
           national leader in developing          Reducing the tax liability on businesses while simultaneously providing financially
                                                  disadvantaged students a way out of failing schools is a Florida Chamber
           a skilled workforce that helps         education priority. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program encourages
                      businesses compete          voluntary contributions from corporate donors to fund quality education student
                        and win in today’s
                     global marketplace.”         To serve more students, lawmakers expanded the program by increasing the tax
                                                  credit cap from $140 million to $229 million per year. Sponsored by Sen. Lizbeth
                                 Chris Hart IV    Benacquisto (R-Ft. Myers) and Rep. Richard Corcoran (R-New Port Richey),
                           President and CEO      businesses now have a greater opportunity to invest in better education outcomes
                           Workforce Florida      for Florida’s children. Governor Scott is expected to sign this bill into law.

                                                    TALENT SUPPLY & EDUCATION

EMPHASIS (HB 7135)                                                                            Florida Chamber
Requiring Florida’s universities                                                              Foundation Fact:
align to their strategies to meet                                                             Higher Education
the high demand for STEM
degrees will help ensure Florida is
positioned to provide sustainable
economic growth. Parents and
students will have access to an                                                                                     $
Economic Security Report detailing                                                                                   9,103
employment and earnings             Marshall Criser III, President of AT&T Florida and Past
outcomes from degrees at Florida’s Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, discussing the
postsecondary schools.              Florida Chamber’s commitment to ensuring our state will                Average quarterly wages for
                                      compete globally in the 21st century.                                    a baccalaureate graduate
To close the talent supply gap,                                                                                 from a Florida university
Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Destin) and Rep. Bill Proctor (R-St. Augustine) sponsored Florida                                        in 2009-2010
Chamber-backed legislation to create the critical link between high-wage jobs
of the future and student outputs from Florida universities. A statewide STEM
education plan will be adopted and universities will be rewarded for high STEM                                          61%
degree performance.
                                                                                                       in the
UNFINISHED BUSINESS                                                                            fourth quarter
                                                                                                     of 2010
Empowering parents with their child’s academic success gives them a stronger voice to turn     Average university tuition and fees
around failing schools. Conversely, unions chose to defend failing schools, silence parents              in 2010-2011
and protect underperforming teachers by making the defeat of this bill its top priority.                  8,244
Bill sponsors Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Ft. Myers) and Rep. Michael Bileca
(R-West Miami) worked in support of this Florida Chamber-backed bill and to
support an education system where parents — not union bosses — have control                                             5,626
over their child’s academic destiny. The bill would have allowed parents to petition                                            Florida
their school to adopt a federally-approved school turnaround option.

Providing improved teacher staff development options allows educators to choose
their training provider. Voluntary not-for-profit and non-unionized membership
organizations provide teacher training and staff development and numerous
education enhancement services. In a right-to-work state like Florida, these                  Sources: Florida Department of Education
associations provide an alternative to special interest unions.                               and The College Board

The Public Employees Relations Commission now considers these services to fall                     For additional Talent Supply
within Florida’s definition of unionized employee associations and allowed unions                    & Education metrics, visit
to charge employee organization students with unfair labor practices. Sen. Stephen      
Wise (R-Jacksonville) and Rep. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) sponsored Florida
Chamber-backed legislation to support teachers by clarifying that professional teacher
associations be removed from the employee organization section of Florida law.
                                                                                                GET INVOLVED:
                                                                                                To help the Florida Chamber
                                                                                                secure Florida’s future, visit
                                                                                                e-mail or
                                                                                                call 850-521-1251.
                                                    INNOVATION & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

    Innovation & Economic Development
                                                      E  arning a reputation as a business-friendly state begins with a stable and
                                                         predictable business climate that allows businesses to create private-sector jobs
                                                      that strengthen and diversify the economy. Significant Florida Chamber-backed
                                                      legislation reducing burdensome regulations and providing economic development
                                                      incentives passed during the 2012 Legislative Session.

                                                      FREIGHT MOBILITY AND
                                                      SEAPORT FUNDING                     Florida Chamber
                                                      (HB 5001 / SB 1998 / HB 599)
                                                      Strengthening Florida’s role
                                                                                          Foundation Fact:
                                                      as a global hub for trade,          Florida Ports
                                                      logistics and export-oriented
                                                      activities, lawmakers passed
               Florida Chamber Board Members          Florida Chamber-backed                            550,000
                                                                                                        direct and
       Bill Johnson, Director of Port Miami, and      legislation that invests                          indirect jobs
    Paul Anderson, CEO of the Jacksonville Port       $150 million into seaport                                              Generated
                                                      infrastructure. To capitalize                     $
                                                                                                                             by maritime
        Authority, join Alberto Aleman Zubieta,                                                          66 billion          activities
       Director of the Panama Canal Authority,
                                                      on new trade opportunities                        total economic       at Florida
                                                      emerging from the widening                        value                ports
    and Tampa Port Authority Director Richard
                                                      of the Panama Canal, the
    Wainio after discussing the expansion of the      bill creates a Strategic Port                      1.7 billion
        Panama Canal and the future impact on                                                           state and local
                                                      Investment Initiative and an                      tax revenue
    Florida’s ports at the 2012 Florida Chamber       Intermodal Logistics Center
                              International Days.     Infrastructure Program.                    FLORIDA SEAPORTS

                                                      SPACEPORT LEGISLATION:
                                                      TERRITORY (HB 59)
                   “Due to the efforts of             FACILITIES (SB 634)                  Source: Florida Department of Transportation and
                                                      Aggressively competing               Florida Ports Council
                the Florida Chamber of                to make Florida the
                                                      preeminent location for                            For additional Innovation &
                  Commerce to support
                                                      private spaceflight activities                  Economic Development metrics,
           economic development and                   engaging in research and                     visit
                     international trade,             development, capitalizing
                                                      on Florida’s bright space industry talent supply and locating spaceflight corporate
                    Florida is now being              headquarters in our state will build on Florida’s rich history as a leader in spaceflight
           positioned to be a leader in               activity.
            manufacturing, aerospace,                 With that in mind, lawmakers passed a Florida Chamber-backed bill allowing Space
          logistics and other high-skill,             Florida to designate Cecil Airport as a spaceport territory and be added to the master
                 high-wage industries.”               planning efforts for spaceflight business infrastructure improvements. A second bill,
                                                      funding spaceflight infrastructure, will improve the business climate for private space
                                   R. J. Scaringe
                                                      and aerospace companies considering Florida for relocation or expansion.
                               President & CEO
                             Rivian Automotive        The Florida Chamber thanks Sen. Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville) Rep. Lake Ray
                               Florida Chamber        (R-Jacksonville), Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Ft. Myers) and Rep. Ritch Workman
                                 Board Member         (R-Melbourne). Both bills have been signed by Governor Rick Scott.

                                              INNOVATION & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

PACKAGE (HB 7087)                                                                         Florida Chamber
Building on economic
development advancements                                                                  Foundation Fact:
that are moving Florida                                                                   Spaceport Territory
forward, lawmakers passed
a Florida Chamber-backed
economic development                                                                                In 2008 alone,
package to help spark                                                                              the NASA-related
private-sector job creation                                                                          space industry
and tax relief.             Gray Swoope, Secretary of Commerce and President                  in Florida generated over
                                    & CEO of Enterprise Florida, leading a Consular               $4 billion in
Taxpayers, financially              Corps meeting to discuss the future of international         economic output
distressed communities             trade in Florida at the 2012 Florida Chamber                  and provided nearly
and manufacturing-related          International Days.                                             50,000 jobs.
businesses will see much
needed relief under a bill sponsored by Rep. Steve Precourt (R-Orlando).
Additionally, more businesses will see corporate tax relief, two new enterprise            FLORIDA SPACEPORT
zones will be created, shoppers will once-again experience a back-to-school
sales tax holiday, Florida’s film industry garners a tax credit and additional             Source: Space Florida
economic development funds are designated to the State Economic
Enhancement and Development Fund. Governor Scott signed this bill into                                For additional Innovation &
law on March 28, 2012.                                                                            Economic Development metrics,

Honoring the courageous men and women serving our country, as well as those
returning home from deployment, lawmakers passed a Florida Chamber-backed bill
that provides vital support programs for men and women in uniform and encourages
job creators to hire Florida’s heroes. Under a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Bennett
(R-Bradenton) and Rep. Bryan Nelson (R-Apopka), veterans will receive property tax
exemptions while deployed overseas, base retention grants and priority education
course registration. Governor Scott is expected to sign this bill into law.                        “Enterprise Florida and the
                                                                                                   Florida Chamber are committed
                                                                                                   to an aggressive pursuit of
                                                                                                   opportunities in international
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES (SB 1110/HB 7069)                                                  trade and economic development
Building on Florida’s successful qualified targeted industries program, a bill
                                                                                                   that can bring more jobs to our
sponsored by Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) would have removed the cap
on tax refunds for individual businesses engaged in a qualified target as long as                   state and increase its global
the employer was successful in creating high-wage jobs. The bill would not have                    competitiveness.”
affected the state’s budget. This measure was supported in the Florida House with
the passage of its companion bill HB 7069. The Florida Senate, on the last day of                  Gray Swoope
the 2012 Legislative Session, allowed a high-wage job creator bill supported by the                Secretary of Commerce and
Florida Chamber to die.                                                                            President & CEO of Enterprise Florida

                                                                                                       GET INVOLVED:
                                                                                                       To help the Florida Chamber
                                                                                                       secure Florida’s future, visit
                                                                                                       or call 850.521.1251.
                                                    INFRASTRUCTURE & GROWTH LEADERSHIP

    Infrastructure & Growth Leadership
                                                      A   s Florida prepares to become the third largest state in the country, comprehensive
                                                          growth management policies will help ensure adequate infrastructure is available for
                                                      positive economic growth. This year, lawmakers infused economic certainty into Florida’s
                                                      transportation and development industry and continued helping Florida municipalities
                                                      implement local growth plans that provide improved direction on how Florida will grow.

                                                      TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENTS &
                                                      JOB CREATION (SB 1998/HB 599)
                                                      Construction ready projects will move
                                                                                                          J B KILLERS
                                                      from shelf to shovel, putting Floridians              A Florida Chamber-opposed
                                                      back to work and dedicating much-                     bill, which was stopped in a
                                                      needed resources for planned roads under              Senate committee, would have
                                                      legislation passed this session. Funding              prevented the use and sale of
       Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam           is returned back to the Florida Chamber-              reclaimed water.
    discussing the creation of a long-term energy     supported State Transportation Trust
                                                      Fund — generating jobs and growth.                    A bill that would eliminate
         plan that would create jobs and provide
                                                                                                            potential economic incentives
         an energy road map at the 2012 Florida                                                             for energy companies to come
                                                      Additionally, no longer will environmental
                          Chamber Capitol Days.                                                             to Florida and contribute to
                                                      extremists be allowed to thwart port-related
                                                      expansion projects by filing frivolous and             a diversified energy portfolio
                                                      capricious administrative challenges. A               died in committee. This
                                                      process for summary proceedings will                  Florida Chamber-opposed bill
                   “The Florida Chamber               address challenges to permits, variances and          would have also repealed the
                is dedicated to securing              submerged lands authorizations.                       Public Service Commission’s
                                                                                                            authority to allow cost recovery
                     Florida’s future and                                                                   for design, licensing and
           understands the importance                 NUMERIC NUTRIENT CRITERIA (HB 7051)                   construction of nuclear and
                                                      Averting a federal government effort                  certain coal powered plants.
               of investing in our state’s            to force an indefensible, multi-billion
                 transportation systems.              dollar water tax on Florida businesses
                                                      and consumers, lawmakers passed a Florida Chamber-backed science-based
                  They have been strong               water quality bill protecting Florida’s natural resources and promoting sustainable
            supporters of infrastructure              economic growth. Protecting Florida’s goal of a unitary, state-run water program,
                  investments and I look              lawmakers unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Caldwell
                                                      (R-Ft. Myers) — Numeric Nutrient Criteria water rules established by the Florida
                forward to working with               Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Governor Scott signed the bill
          them as we execute Florida’s                into law on February 17, 2012, and the new law is being reviewed by the federal
                                                      Environmental Protection Agency.
           Transportation Vision for the
              21st Century to create the
                                                      ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION REFORM (HB 503)
            nation’s best transportation              Costly and duplicative regulatory barriers blocking job creation and economic
            and infrastructure system.”               growth were eliminated this session under a Florida Chamber-backed regulatory
                                                      reform bill. As a result, job creators will see a more streamlined regulatory process
                                 Ananth Prasad        with less costly redundancy.
                               Secretary of the
                         Florida Department of

                                         INFRASTRUCTURE & GROWTH LEADERSHIP

This bill, sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Patronis (R-Panama City) and Sen. Mike
Bennett (R-Bradenton), will build on Florida’s economic development
efforts and help ensure Florida’s environmental regulations are effective,        Florida Chamber
coordinated and responsive. Additional commercial and industrial projects         Foundation Fact:
will qualify for expedited permitting and general permits are expanded.
Creating regulatory certainty for businesses investing in water treatment
plants that provide customers alternative water supply resources is
established under a Florida Chamber-backed bill. Sponsored by Rep. Dana
Young (R-Tampa) and Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah), this bill verifies that
reclaimed water is an alternative water supply, is eligible for benefits under
this designation, and encourages needed infrastructure to reap the benefits
of reclaimed water. Water management districts will be prohibited from
requiring a permit for the use of reclaimed water. Governor Scott signed
this bill into law on April 6, 2012.

Establishing a statewide Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) rule
and single point-of-entry into Florida’s storm water permitting process
will lower the cost of doing business in Florida. Under a Florida
Chamber-backed bill sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice)
and Rep. Steve Crisafulli (R-Merrit Island), ERP is streamlined and
standardized — eliminating costly redundancy and creating certainty
for businesses. The bill eliminates government inefficiency, expedites
                                                                                  Sources: U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Energy
permit reviews and establishes a division of responsibility between the
                                                                                  Information Administration
Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Water Management
Districts. Governor Scott signed this bill into law on April 6, 2012.
                                                                                      For additional Infrastructure & Growth
                                                                                             Leadership metrics, visit
GROWTH MANAGEMENT GLITCH BILL (HB 7081)                                        
Creating a climate of greater economic certainty, lawmakers cleaned up
the 2011 growth management reform law by removing outdated and
obsolete provisions. Because of the vast number of changes, Rep. Ritch Workman
(R-Melbourne) sponsored this Florida Chamber-backed bill to cleanup leftover             “The Florida Chamber is a vital
statue references. Governor Scott signed this bill into law on April 6, 2012.
                                                                                         partner in seeking investments
                                                                                         that are critical to seaport
DEVELOPMENTS OF REGIONAL IMPACT – DRI (HB 979)                                           infrastructure, which creates jobs
The 2012 legislature continued efforts to streamline various review processes and
provide additional incentives for developments. Providing greater clarity in the         and enhances domestic and
permit review process, the Florida Legislature passed a Development of Regional          international trade for Florida”
Impact (DRI) bill sponsored by Rep. Jose Diaz (R-Miami) and supported by the
Florida Chamber. The bill allows local governments subject to the DRI process to         Doug Wheeler
provide faster approval when competing for projects, gives permit seekers clarity        President
in the review process and reduces permitting times. Governor Scott signed this bill      Florida Ports Council
into law on April 6, 2012.

                                                                                             GET INVOLVED:
                                                                                             To help the Florida Chamber
                                                                                             secure Florida’s future, visit
                                                                                             email or
                                                                                             call 850.521.1279.
                                                    BUSINESS CLIMATE & COMPETITIVENESS

     Business Climate & Competitiveness
                                                     C    reating a competitive business climate that embraces the spirit of free enterprise
                                                          is essential to helping return Florida to the No. 1 job creator in the
                                                      nation. Florida is moving in the right direction — job creation is up, unemployment
                                                      is down and our population is growing again.

                                                      To keep this momentum moving forward, the Florida Legislature passed several
                                                      Florida Chamber-backed bills in support of stability and predictability for job
                                                      creators. Chief among those were unemployment compensation tax reform and
                                                      auto insurance fraud (PIP) reform.

                                                      But the fact remains that Florida’s 42nd worst legal climate ranking, rising workers’
                                                      compensation rates and unstable property insurance market continue to negatively
                                                      impact our state’s business community and its ability to create jobs. To secure
                                                      Florida’s future, the Florida Chamber is fighting to create an economic climate that
           Florida Chamber Board Members and
                                                      promotes private-sector job growth.
       local chamber partners discussing Florida
      Chamber priorities with Speaker-designate
     Will Weatherford during the opening days of      REDUCING AUTO INSURANCE FRAUD/PIP REFORM (HB 119/SB 1860)
                    the 2012 Legislative Session.     Florida’s fraud riddled no-fault auto insurance system came to a screeching halt
                                                      during the 2012 Legislative Session when lawmakers passed a Florida Chamber-
                                                      backed bill addressing staged accidents, fraudulent claims and skyrocketing
                                                      attorney’s fees — the primary cost drivers creating a billion dollar problem for
                                                      Florida’s businesses and consumers.

                                                      Florida is a national leader for staged auto accidents and excessive medical
                      “Randy Miller and               treatments under personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance coverage. With
                       the Florida Retail             the passage of a bill sponsored by Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton), Florida has set
                                                      in motion a number of reforms that will help ensure honest businesses and
                   Federation team were               consumers no longer bear the brunt of costly fraudulent activities.
                 tremendous partners in
                                                      With strong support from Governor Rick Scott, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater,
                 seeking unemployment
                                                      House Speaker Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park), Sen. Joe Negron (R-Palm City), Sen.
                compensation tax relief.”             Garrett Richter (R-Naples) and Florida’s business community, the passage of auto
                                                      insurance (PIP) reform addresses the primary cost drivers by limiting attorney’s fees
                                   Mark Wilson        and eliminating the attorney fee multiplier in PIP cases, reducing non-essential
                             President and CEO        medical treatments and providing fraud-prevention tools to limit staged accidents.
                  Florida Chamber of Commerce
                                                      Governor Scott, who made PIP reform one of his three top priorities, is expected to
                                                      sign the bill into law.

                                                      CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE REFORM (SB 1346/HB 1127)
                                                      Returning Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to their role as insurer of
                                                      last resort instead of first resort and reducing hurricane taxes on non-Citizens
                                                      customers are steps toward right-sizing the Florida government-run property
                                                      insurance program.

                                                      Citizens, a state-created property insurance company, is currently the largest
                                                      property insurer in Florida – holding about 1.5 million policies worth $515 billion

                                            BUSINESS CLIMATE & COMPETITIVENESS

in property coverage. Because of Citizens’ unstable financial obligation, Florida
businesses and taxpayers would be responsible for meeting Citizens’ unmet
financial needs if a costly storm were to hit Florida.                                         Florida Chamber
                                                                                              Foundation Fact:
The Florida Chamber’s long-standing priority to create a more predictable
property insurance market took additional steps forward with the passage of a                 Auto Insurance Fraud
Florida Chamber-backed Citizens Property Insurance Reform bill during the 2012
Legislative Session. The Florida Chamber thanks bill sponsors Rep. Ben Albritton
(R-Bartow) and Sen. Steve Oelrich (R-Gainesville). Gov. Scott signed this bill into
law on April 6, 2012.                                                                        Jump in Florida’s
                                                                                             average PIP claim
                                                                                             cost per insured
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION TAX RELIEF (SB 1416/HB 7027)                                       vehicle in just
Job creators will see immediate and significant savings in unemployment                       two years
compensation taxes instead of an $817 million tax increase thanks to Florida                 (2008-2010)
Chamber-backed legislation passed during the legislative session.

The Florida Chamber, along with the Florida Retail Federation and partners in the
business community, led efforts to reduce the tax increase by approximately $50
per employee, and save employers $549 million over two years. This seismic reform
                                                                                              Source: Insurance Research Council
effort also renames the unemployment comp system to the reemployment assistance
program to help Floridians get back to work faster through additional skill set training.
                                                                                                For additional Business Climate &
The Florida Chamber thanks bill sponsors Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-Ft. Lauderdale)                  Competitiveness metrics, visit
and Rep. Doug Holder (R-Bradenton). Governor Scott signed this bill into law on        
March 28, 2012.

TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX (SB 1064/HB 1003)                                            “The Florida Chamber is leading
Through the combined leadership of the National Federation of Independent Business
and the Florida Chamber, businesses can save nearly $20 million a year in tangible          the way toward putting Floridians
personal property taxes if approved by Floridians. This November, voters will be asked      back to work and growing our
to pass a Florida Chamber-supported constitutional amendment allowing businesses
to exempt property valued between $25,000 and $50,000. This measure was sponsored           economy. Securing Florida’s future
by Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) and Rep. Eric Eisnaugle (R-Orlando).                        calls for enacting policies that
                                                                                            promote and sustain stronger
                                                                                            economic growth, and addressing
                             J B KILLERS                                                    the fiscal and competitive
      The Florida Chamber successfully defeated House and Senate floor attempts             challenges that smother growth
      to increase workers’ compensation rates. An amendment attached to multiple            and drive away jobs.”
      health care bills would have restricted a workers’ compensation company
      from establishing networks and required carriers to negotiate contracts with          Allan Bense
      medical providers for a negotiated rate. These Florida Chamber-opposed                Florida Chamber Board Member
      amendments would have increased workers’ comp rates on businesses by                  & Past Chair
      about 15 percent. The Florida Department of Financial Services estimated the          Former Speaker, Florida House
      amendments would cost taxpayers more than $4.5 million.                               of Representatives

                                                                                               GET INVOLVED:
                                                                                               To help the Florida Chamber
                                                                                               secure Florida’s future, visit
                                                                                               e-mail or
                                                                                               call 850.521.1292.
                                                    BUSINESS CLIMATE & COMPETITIVENESS

                                                     UNFINISHED BUSINESS

                                                     LEGAL REFORM: BAD FAITH (SB 1224/HB427)
                                                     Reducing Florida’s reputation as a haven for plaintiff trial lawyers and bad-faith
                                                     insurance lawsuits would have improved Florida’s 42nd worst legal climate by
                                                     passing reform legislation. The business community would have also benefited
                                                     from more affordable liability insurance rates.

                                                     Currently, Florida has no legal standards for how insurance companies handle
                                                     potential bad faith causes of action. Unscrupulous trial lawyers often create set-
                                                     ups for bad faith lawsuits that result in multi-million dollar settlements and
                                                     payouts — passing costs for these actions along to Florida business and citizens.

                                                     The Florida Chamber, along with our partners at the Florida Justice Reform
                                                     Institute, remain committed to reforming Florida’s legal environment and to
           CFO Jeff Atwater discussing Florida’s     providing predictability in the insurance settlement process by allowing 60 days for
      $1 billion auto insurance fraud (PIP) issue    an insurance company to resolve a claim before a bad faith suit can be filed. The
     with over 200 attendees at the 2011 Florida     Florida Chamber thanks bill sponsors Sen. Steve Oelrich (R-Gainesville) and Rep.
                    Chamber Insurance Summit.        Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) for standing up against the trial bar.

                                                     ONLINE TRAVEL TAX CLARIFICATION (SB 1888/HB 1393)
                                                     Currently Florida doesn’t tax services — that includes taxes for third-party online travel
                                                     organization services. Ironically, certain local governments and their special interest
                                                     in Tallahassee are searching for new revenue sources. A bill that would have clarified
      “Auto insurance fraud is costing               Florida’s long-time policy to not tax service fees and provided confidence to retailers
                                                     that customers are paying correctly failed to pass the 2012 Legislative Session. As
     Florida consumers millions every                a matter of public policy, Florida has determined that it will not tax services. Under
           year in increased insurance               SB 1888 by Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and HB 133 by Rep. Jason Brodeur
                                                     (R-Sanford), lawmakers had the opportunity to clarify that Florida never intended to
         premiums. Together, with the                tax service fees on third parties who market hotel rooms but failed to do so.
       Florida Chamber of Commerce,
              we can put the brakes on
                                                     E-FAIRNESS: LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR SMALL BUSINESS
            this type of fraud and keep              (SB 1514/HB 861)
     Floridians hard-earned dollars in               Leveling the playing field on sales tax collection for Florida’s brick and mortar
                                                     businesses by closing a loophole that gives out-of-state online retailers, such as
      their pockets, where it belongs.”              tax avoider Amazon, an advantage over Florida businesses would have taken the
                                                     state of Florida out of the business of choosing free enterprise winners and losers.
                                CFO Jeff Atwater     Passage of SB 1514 by Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) and HB 861 by Rep. Mike Horner
                         at the Florida Chamber
                                                     (R-Kissimmee) would have eliminated online-only retailers six to eight percent
                              Insurance Summit
                                November, 2011       advantage.

                                                     INSURANCE REFORM: FLORIDA HURRICANE CATASTROPHE FUND
                                                     (SB 1372/HB 833)
                                                     Efforts to financially prepare Florida to weather a hurricane by stabilizing
                                                     Florida’s insurance market failed. This important insurance reform bill would
                                                     have significantly reduced assessments on businesses and homeowners and help
                                                     ensure Florida’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (CAT Fund) could meet its financial
                                                     obligations following a catastrophic storm.

                                                     The CAT Fund was created to ensure private property insurers can pay their claims
                                                     following a major storm. However, the CAT Fund cannot meet its own financial
                                                     obligations and will likely be unable to successfully issue enough bonding within the
                                                     12 months after a hurricane.

                                             BUSINESS CLIMATE & COMPETITIVENESS

The Florida Chamber remains
committed to reforming this program
and thanks Sen. JD Alexander                                                                   Florida Chamber
(R-Lake Wales) and Rep. Bill Hager                                                             Foundation Fact:
(R-Boca Raton) for their efforts to                                                            Citizens
right-size Florida’s CAT Fund.

REFORM (SB 668/HB 511)
The Florida Senate’s refusal to
allow an important workers’                                                                      As of February 9, 2012,
                                         Florida Chamber Executive Vice President David
compensation reform bill to be
heard by the full Senate will            Hart advocating auto insurance reform to address        Citizen’s Property
result in a $62 million workers’         the $1 billion of fraud in Florida at Governor          Insurance Corporation has
comp rate increase for Florida           Scott’s PIP press conference.
businesses. Nearly one-third of                                                                  1,475,677
this year’s 8.9 percent increase is                                                              policies in force
directly attributable to the inflated cost of some repackaged prescription drugs being
dispensed by a physician when a workers’ comp patient seeks medical treatment.                   for the state of Florida
                                                                                               (Citizens Property Insurance
The Florida Chamber led the business community’s efforts to close the loophole                 Corporation,
for workers’ comp reimbursement rates for repackaged drugs. A very special thank
you is extended to Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) for his relentless efforts to ensure his
                                                                                                 For additional Business Climate &
colleagues had an opportunity to hear the bill, and to Rep. Matt Hudson (R-Naples)                 Competitiveness metrics, visit
for sponsoring the House bill. Additionally, the Florida Chamber thanks Rep. Mack       
Bernard (D-West Palm Beach) for amending the workers’ comp reform language
onto his bill, HB 307, on the 59th day of the 60 day legislative session. In the end,
the Florida Senate refused to allow a vote and killed the bill.

Strengthening the integrity of Florida’s courts, and empowering judges to serve
as gatekeepers when considering expert testimony, was the intention of a Florida            “With the Florida Chamber,
Chamber-backed legal reform bill that failed for the second year in a row.                  business and industry leaders
Florida businesses have become an easy target for trial lawyers because of the ease         have the power to unite and
in which junk science is allowed into the court room under our current use of the           advocate for a healthy and
Frye standard. Under SB 378 and HB 243 by Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples) and
Rep. Larry Metz (R-Eustis), judges could consider whether an expert’s testimony             competitive business climate.”
is reliable and based on sound science. The measure would have aligned Florida’s
state court system with the federal courts when considering the admissibility               Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll
                                                                                            at the Florida Chamber
of expert witness testimony and improved on Florida’s 42nd worst legal climate
                                                                                            2012 Capitol Days

Efforts to close the phantom damages loophole allowing plaintiffs to inflate their
health care services costs when pursuing damages for an injury did not pass during
the 2012 Legislative Session. Passage of this bill would have contributed toward
creating a more stable and predictable business climate by ensuring defendants
only pay the actual amounts for medical expenses.

The Florida Chamber thanks Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) and Rep. Larry Metz
(R-Eustis) for sponsoring this legal reform legislation.

                                                                                                GET INVOLVED:
                                                                                                To help the Florida Chamber
                                                                                                secure Florida’s future, visit
                                                                                                or call 850-521-1292.
                                                          CIVIC & GOVERNANCE SYSTEMS

     Civic & Governance Systems
                                                        E  liminating regulatory obstacles will
                                                           help establish a business climate that
                                                        inspires entrepreneurs, empowers the
                                                        private sector to create jobs and provides
                                                                                                        J B KILLERS
                                                        greater freedom to Floridians.                    For the second year in a row, a
                                                                                                          Florida Chamber-opposed bill
                                                        Burdensome government regulations                 mandating Florida businesses to
                                                        cost employers time and resources and             use the deeply flawed E-Verify
                                                        impede job creation and economic                  system to check a person’s
                                                        growth. Small businesses, in particular,          immigration status was stopped.
                                                        are often most significantly impacted by           To win the global race for talent
                                                        government regulations. That’s because            and jobs, the Florida Chamber
                                                        businesses with fewer than 20 employees           supports a comprehensive
                                                        incur regulatory costs 42 percent higher          federal approach to immigration
                                                        than larger business. When four out               that serves our nation’s best
                                                        of every five jobs are created by small            interests. Mandatory E-verify
         Department of Revenue Executive Director       businesses, regulatory reform is essential.       without comprehensive federal
                                                                                                          immigration reform hurts free
            Lisa Vickers discusses the need to reduce
                                                        During the 2012 Legislative Session,              enterprise and will not end
     burdensome regulations on Florida’s businesses
                                                        lawmakers passed several Florida                  illegal immigration, free up jobs
        at the 2012 Florida Chamber Capitol Days.                                                         for unemployed Americans or
                                                        Chamber-backed regulatory bills that
                                                        reduce red tape and eliminate regulatory          save the nation money.
                                                        burdens on entrepreneurs.

                                                        STATE GOVERNMENT RULES REPEAL (HB 7029)
                                                        Eliminating duplicative, costly and antiquated rules and regulations, lawmakers
            “The Department of Revenue                  passed a Florida Chamber-backed bill repealing 270 rules and directly improving
                                                        Florida’s business climate.
                 looks forward to working
            with business leaders like the              Sponsored by Rep. Patrick Rooney (R-Palm Beach Gardens), this measure provides
                                                        regulatory checks and balances to support Florida’s global competitiveness
          Florida Chamber of Commerce                   and to help secure Florida’s future. Further, this measure helps restore balance,
               to ensure that government                transparency and accountability to government. Governor Scott signed this bill into
                                                        law on March 28, 2012.
                 portals like the One-Stop
              Business Registration Portal
             continue to improve Florida’s              ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY TO REDUCE REGULATORY BURDENS (HB 7055)
                                                        Ensuring Florida’s regulatory reform efforts are not thwarted by activist judges,
               small business climate and               lawmakers passed Florida Chamber-backed legislation empowering Florida’s Governor
           make Florida the number one                  to supervise — at all times — state agency department heads under his authority.
                job creator in the nation.”             Under a bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar), the Florida Legislature
                                                        clarified a legal decision rendered in response to a lawsuit filed by the Florida
                                       Lisa Vickers     Audubon Society, Florida Legal Services, The Florida Bar, the Disability Rights of
                          Executive Director of the     Florida and Rosalie Whiley against Governor Scott’s Executive Order suspending
                   Florida Department of Revenue
                                                        new rules and regulations from being imposed until they could be reviewed. This
                                                        bill clearly sets in statute that the governor has authority to reduce red tape and
                                                        burdensome regulations through state agencies that fall within his supervisory role.
                                                        Governor Scott signed this bill into law on April 13, 2012.

                                                   CIVIC & GOVERNANCE SYSTEMS

Limiting excessive regulatory and permitting process costs on businesses will
enhance business development and job creation. A Florida Chamber-backed                         Florida Chamber
bill creating a one-stop business registration portal will allow the Department of              Foundation Facts:
Revenue to reduce government regulations and streamline business processes.                     State Pension Reform
This single point of entry will allow businesses to submit applications, payments
and file documents with state agencies. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ed Hooper
                                                                                                                          A recent study
(R-Clearwater). The Florida Chamber thanks Department of Revenue Executive
                                                                                                                          concludes that
Director Lisa Vickers for her support of this effort.
                                                                                                                          to Florida’s
                                                                                                      813                 pension system
                                                                                                                          need to increase
                                                                                                                          by $813 per
                                                                                                                          to fully fund
Modernizing Florida’s
                                                                                                                          pensions through
retirement system
for sustainability and                                                                                                    the next 30 years.
consistency with                                                                                Source: Zell Center for Risk Research at
retirement plans offered                                                                        the Kellogg School of Management
by the private-sector
remains a Florida
Chamber priority. By
modernizing the plan,                                                                           Local Pension Reform
Florida can help ensure      Clearly, the Florida Chamber agenda is helping grow
the public employee          private-sector jobs, but it’s not the agenda some activists want
retirement system can        to hear — especially protestors affiliated with “Awake the                                      8.1
continue providing           State” and “Occupy Tallahassee.” Both special interest groups
benefits without              picketed Florida Chamber headquarters.
burdening taxpayers.                                                                               Expenditures of
                                                                                                   Florida counties
This year lawmakers introduced legislation to help ensure a sustainable
and more actuarially sound public employee retirement plan. Three public
employee unions reached an agreement to support pension reform, but the
firefighters later broke the agreement. Instead of focusing on long-term                          Florida counties dedicate a staggering
solutions to ensure future public employees have a sound retirement system                      8.1 percent of their total government
available, unions back-peddled on their support and instead focused on short-                   expenditures to predetermined public
term political gains.                                                                           retirement promises.
                                                                                                Source: Leroy Collins Institute, “Tough
                                                                                                Choices Facing Local Government”
Special interest groups again blocked efforts to provide public employees
sustainable retirement plans. A local pension plan bill would have modernized                     For additional Civic & Governance
public pensions to ensure a sound financial future for employees, reduced the                              Systems metrics,
local governments’ liability and provided cost savings to taxpayers.                             visit

There is more work to be done and the Florida Chamber will continue to fight
for hard-working public employees so they can receive retirement benefits
without overburdening taxpayers.
                                                                                                    GET INVOLVED:
                                                                                                    To help the Florida Chamber
                                                                                                    secure Florida’s future, visit
                                                                                                    or call 850-521-1279
                                                    QUALITY OF LIFE & QUALITY PLACES

     Quality of Life & Quality Places

          Attorney General Pam Bondi stands
       with the Florida Chamber to oppose Las      E  nsuring Florida provides a place where businesses want to grow and people
                                                      want to live, work and play is important to the Quality of Life pillar. To secure
                                                   Florida’s future, the Florida Chamber championed important bills through the 2012
         Vegas-style casinos in Florida. Joining
       General Bondi is former House Speaker       Legislative Session that will strengthen Florida’s health care community and ensure
             Larry Cretul, Rep. Steve Precourt,    our state’s strong reputation for family-friendly activities is not diminished.
     Florida Chamber's Teye Reeves, Norman
        Braman, Sen. Anitere Flores, Sen. John     EXPANSION OF GAMBLING: DESTINATION CASINOS (SB 710/HB 487)
             Thrasher, Florida Chamber's Brad      Defeating an attempt to dramatically expand Las Vegas-style casino gambling in
       Swanson, former Sen. Dan Gelber, Rep.       Florida was a priority of the Florida Chamber. The proposal would have built the
        Scott Plakon, Florida Chamber's Mark       largest casinos on the planet right here in Florida. In fact, the five largest casinos in
      Wilson and David Hart and Agriculture        Vegas could have fit in just one of the proposed casinos in Florida.
                 Commissioner Adam Putnam.
                                                   Such a massive gambling expansion would have cannibalized existing businesses,
                                                   and cost — rather than create — good jobs. When mega-casinos were introduced
                                                   to Atlantic City, 40 percent of restaurants and approximately 30 percent of
          “We cannot allow our state               retail business shut down. Additionally, gambling economies lead the nation in
         to lead in a direction where              unemployment, foreclosures, violent crime and personal bankruptcy.
        we authorize more gambling                 The Florida Chamber created and led the coalition to oppose the Bad Bet for
                and compromise our                 Florida, and was joined in support by Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial
                                                   Officer Jeff Atwater, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Florida Restaurant
        communities and the legacy                 and Lodging Association, the Florida Retail Federation and business associations
           of a family-friendly state.”            and chambers of commerce.

                                   Pam Bondi       When the mega-casino bill died in committee, lawmakers were then able to
                     Florida Attorney General      intensify their focus on pressing issues critical to securing Florida’s future, including
                                                   lowering unemployment insurance rates, helping small businesses grow and
                                                   continuing to improve education.

             “What happens in Vegas
               should stay in Vegas.”

                                Mark Wilson
                          President and CEO
               Florida Chamber of Commerce

                                            QUALITY OF LIFE & QUALITY PLACES

FUNDING (SB 730)                                Florida Chamber
To secure Florida’s future and help
ensure a healthy quality of life,               Foundation Fact:
lawmakers passed a Florida Chamber-             Gaming
backed bill that potentially helps
create more medical school residency

Florida’s abysmal 43rd national
ranking in the number of medical                                                       “Health care’s share of the
school residents in relation to our
population needs to be addressed.
                                                                     46%               cost of doing business in
Approximately 2,700 additional medical                                                 Florida is too high. In order to
school residency positions are needed                                                  have a competitive business
in Florida to simply meet the national
average.                                                                               environment and a high quality
                                                                                       of life, we must work toward a
With leadership from Sen. Anitere
Flores (R-Miami), health care plans
                                                                                       sustainable, accessible health
participating in Florida’s managed                 Non-Lottery Gaming                  care system that reduces
care program may assist in funding                      Revenue
                                                   Generated in Florida                today’s cost shifts from the
additional medical residency positions at
graduate medical education institutions.               2009-2010                       uninsured and government
Governor Scott signed this bill into law                                               health plans to employers.”
on April 16, 2012.                             In fiscal year 2009-2010, the
                                               state of Florida generated              Lars Houmann
                                               $333,936,949 in revenue                 President and CEO
UNFINISHED BUSINESS                            from non-lottery gaming.                Florida Hospital
                                               Slot machines accounted                 and Florida Chamber
GAMBLING: INTERNET CAFES                                                               Board Member
                                               for $154,776,678 of total
(SB 428/HB 3)                                  revenue for the year.
With Internet cafes spreading
throughout Florida, the Florida Chamber        Source: Florida Senate Interim Report
pushed efforts aimed at clarifying state       2011-133
law that Internet cafes are illegal.
                                                   For additional Quality of Life
Law enforcement authorities have had                    & Quality Places metrics,
difficulty enforcing local prohibitions           visit
and regulations on these casino-style
games because Florida lacks a uniform
law to address their legality. More importantly, these games often degrade Florida’s
communities and unchecked, will continue to spread at a rapid rate.

The Florida Chamber thanks Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood) and Sen. Steve
Oelrich (R-Gainesville) for sponsoring this important legislation.

                                                                                          GET INVOLVED:
                                                                                          To help the Florida Chamber
                                                                                          secure Florida’s future, visit
                                                                                          or call 850.521.1292.
     most valuable
     legislator award
     Speaker Dean Cannon
                                        T  he business community’s premier legislative award, Most
                                           Valuable Legislator, goes to House Speaker Dean Cannon
                                        for his outstanding leadership to strengthen Florida’s economy,
                                        establish predictability and stability within Florida’s business
                                        climate and support private-sector job creation.

                                        During his two-year term as the leader of the Florida House
                                        of Representatives, Speaker Cannon ran the chamber with
                                        precision and purpose.

                                        In 2011, the House passed 35 of the Florida Chamber’s 36
                                        priority bills, including several of the most intensely fought
                                        issues by opponents of free enterprise, like legal reform,
                                        government pension reform, growth management reform and
                                        increasing pay for great teachers.

                                       This year, despite all the distractions of redistricting, a $2 billion
                                       budget gap, election year politics and the attempted expansion
     of Las Vegas-style gambling, Speaker Cannon steered his chamber to support 30 of the Florida
     Chamber’s priorities. Under his leadership, the House defeated expanded gambling, saved job
     creators $549 million in unemployment compensation taxes, passed a workers’ compensation
     reform bill that would have saved employers $62 million dollars if it would have been allowed
     a vote by the Senate President, strengthened education, eliminated 270 burdensome rules, and
     streamlined Florida’s regulatory processes.

     Speaker Cannon is a champion of free enterprise and understands government doesn’t create
     jobs — government creates the right environment for the private-sector to create jobs. The
     Florida Chamber sincerely thanks Speaker Cannon for his public service and wishes him well as
     he returns to his family and future endeavors.

        Past Recipients of
        the Florida Chamber’s
        Most Valuable
        Legislator Award
        2011     Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff
        2010     Senator John Thrasher
        2009     Senator Garrett Richter
        2008     Representative Dennis Ross
        2007     Representative Stan Mayfield
        2006     Representative Don Brown
        2005     Representative Allan Bense

     “During the 2012 Legislative Session we worked hard to send a signal of stability and
     predictability to Florida’s private sector job creators by crafting a balanced budget that does
     not raise taxes and passing critical tax relief and incentive packages to support existing and
     attract new private sector jobs. We are grateful to the Florida Chamber for their ongoing
     support of this effort and for their commitment to growing Florida's business community.”
     Speaker Dean Cannon, Florida Chamber 2012 Most Valuable Legislator

Distinguished Advocate Awards

        he Florida Chamber’s Distinguished Advocate Award recognizes
        legislators who championed key issues on the Florida Chamber’s
    agenda for jobs. This award acknowledges legislators who ensured
    consideration of the business community’s legislative priorities and
    fought tirelessly for the passage of pro-jobs legislation.

                                                                               GRADE EARNED
                                          NAME | DISTRICT                         2011  2012

                                                                                                                       Sen. LizBeth
                                          jd alexander | Lake Wales                100      97
     Budget Chair                                                                                                      sponsored
             Sen. JD                                                                                                   a significant
         Alexander                        Thad Altman | Melbourne                   64      97                         Florida
       championed                                                                                     Chamber-backed education
     several Florida                                                                                  bill to expand the Florida Tax
           Chamber-backed priorities                                                                  Credit Scholarship Program
            and sponsored legislation     lizbeth benacquisto | Fort Myers          93      97        to provide more children with
             that significantly reduces                                                                private scholarships to quality
        assessments on homeowner                                                                      education programs.
         and business policies in the
     aftermath of a major hurricane.      Mike Bennett | Bradenton                  95      90
     He also developed and passed
         a pro-jobs, balanced budget
             without raising taxes and    ellyn bogdanoff | Fort Lauderdale        100      94
                   fees on businesses.

                                          Oscar Braynon | Miami Gardens             33      65                         Sen. Nancy
         Sen. Ellyn                                                                                                    sponsored
        Bogdanoff                                                                                                      Florida
                                          Larcenia Bullard | Miami                  28      68
            Florida                                                                                   backed legislation creating
          Chamber-                                                                                    a statewide Environmental
            backed unemployment           Charlie Dean | Inverness                  86      82        Resource Permit Rule with
            comp legislation saving                                                                   single point-of-entry into
         Florida’s job creators $549                                                                  Florida’s environmental
             million over two years.                                                                  permitting process and eases
                                          nancy detert | Venice                     90      82        the cost of doing business in
                                                                                                      Florida while protecting our
                                                                                                      valuable environment. She
                                                                                                      also championed legislation
                                          Miguel Diaz de la Portilla | Miami        95      88
      Sen. Anitere                                                                                    that would have helped level
             Flores                                                                                   the playing field for Florida’s
         sponsored                                                                                    small businesses by closing the
             Florida                      Paula Dockery | Lakeland                  46      71        internet-only sales tax loophole
          Chamber-                                                                                    while remaining revenue-
           supported legislation that                                                                 neutral.
     allows certain funds from plans
           participating in the state’s
                                          Greg Evers | Crestview                    86      91
           managed care program to
         help fund graduate medical
      education institution residency     Mike Fasano | New Port Richey             60      75
       programs, and she prevented
      the Florida Chamber-opposed
      E-Verify mandate from coming
                    up in committee.      anitere flores | Miami                    85      92

                         Learn how legislators voted on Florida Chamber-backed pro-business, pro-jobs legislation
                       by visiting or contact us at or 850.521.1292.
               “With the conclusion of the regular session, we continue to focus our attention to the 2012 election cycle by
                evaluating each legislator’s grade on our report card, interviewing every House and Senate candidate and
                fundraising to elect pro-business candidates.”
                 MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber

               “I am proud to have earned an ‘A’ grade from the Florida Chamber of Commerce during the 2012 session.”

                                                                                         GRADE EARNED
                                         NAME | DISTRICT                                    2011  2012

                                         don gaetz | Destin                                       98      97                         Majority
     Sen. Don
                                                                                                                                     Sen. Andy
    sponsored                            Rene Garcia | Hialeah                                    88     88
                                                                                                                  Florida Chamber-supported
                                                                                                                  legislation that gives 21st
backed legislation to enhance
       regulatory reform efforts         andy gardiner | Orlando                                  97     100      century technology options
                                                                                                                  for students in public schools
         by giving the Governor
                                                                                                                  by allowing students entering
         authority over the state
                                                                                                                  grades K-5 to participate
 agency department heads he
                                         Audrey Gibson | Jacksonville                               —     75      in Florida Virtual School’s
   supervises “at all times.” He
                                                                                                                  full-time virtual instruction
 also led the charge to ensure
                                                                                                                  programs and full-time virtual
        Florida’s universities are
                                                                                                                  charter schools.
   aligning their strategies and         Mike Haridopolos* | Melbourne                            96     89
   focus with the employment
 needs of a knowledge-based
  economy by establishing the
critical link between the high-          alan hays | Umatilla                                     98     95
   wage jobs of the future and
student outputs from Florida’s
                                         Dennis Jones | Seminole                                  81     83

                                         Arthenia Joyner | Tampa                                  17     45
   Sen. Alan                                                                                                                       Sen. Bill
         Hays                                                                                                                      Montford
   sponsored                                                                                                                       crossed party
                                         Jack Latvala | St. Petersburg                            80      97                       lines and
    Chamber-                                                                                                                       supported
backed legislation that would                                                                                     Florida Chamber-backed
 have reduced rising workers’            Evelyn Lynn | Daytona Beach                              88     69       issues such as auto insurance/
    comp rates for businesses                                                                                     PIP reform and tax relief for
  by $62 million if the Florida                                                                                   Florida’s businesses.
      Senate President would
      have allowed members
                                         Gwen Margolis | Miami                                    47      71
                 to vote on it.                                                                                   *In a year when workers’ comp
                                                                                                                  rates are going up an average
                                         bill montford | Tallahassee                              64      72      of 8.9%, Senator Haridopolos
                                                                                                                  cost job creators $62,000,000
                                                                                                                  by not allowing a fair up or
                                                                                                                  down vote on a bill which
                                         Joe Negron | Palm City                                   84      87      would have lowered workers’
                                                                                                                  compensation rates by 2.5%.
                                                                                                                  Because of his actions, the
                                                                                                                  Florida Chamber Policy Council
                                         Jim Norman | Tampa                                       87     89       reduced his overall score by
                                                                                                                  one letter grade.

*The 2012 Senate grades were calculated based on how each Senator voted on the issues contained in the Florida Chamber’s 2012 Business Agenda.

                                                                                GRADE EARNED
                                          NAME | DISTRICT                          2011  2012
                                                                                                                        Sen. Garrett
                                                                                                                        Richter stood
                                          steve oelrich | Gainesville                95     94                          strong with
       Sen. Steve                                                                                                       the Florida
     Oelrich filed                                                                                                       Chamber
       and passed                         Nan Rich | Sunrise                         20     52        on important legal reform
            Florida                                                                                   legislation that attempted
        Chamber-                                                                                      to eliminate junk science in
      supported legislation to help                                                                   Florida’s courts just as our
      return Citizens to the insurer      garrett richter | Naples                  100    100        federal courts have done;
         of last resort, keep private                                                                 this expert witness bill would
     insurance companies solvent                                                                      have strengthened the
      after a hurricane and reduce                                                                    integrity of Florida’s courts and
                                          Jeremy Ring | Margate                      58     78        empowered judges to serve as
     assessments on customers of
       private insurers in the event                                                                  gatekeepers when considering
                      of a hurricane.                                                                 proposed expert testimony.
                                          Maria Sachs | Delray                       30     72        He was also a leader in the
                                                                                                      Senate on strong PIP Auto
                                                                                                      Insurance reform.

                                          David Simmons* | Altamonte Springs         90     89

      Rules Chair
        Sen. John                         Gary Siplin | Orlando                      67     66
         Thrasher                                                                                                      Sen. Steve
        supported                                                                                                      Wise
       the Florida
                                          Christopher Smith | West Palm Beach        49     73                         championed
       Chamber’s agenda as Rules                                                                                       Florida
     Chair by making sure key bills                                                                                    Chamber-
     were heard in committee and                                                                      backed legislation that, had it
            advancing to the floor.        Eleanor Sobel | Hollywood                  44     59        passed, would have supported
                                                                                                      teachers through improved
                                                                                                      professional development
                                                                                                      options and benefits provided
             *At a time when Florida      Ronda Storms | Brandon                     65     84
                                                                                                      by professional associations.
            has the 42nd worst legal
                                                                                                      He also sponsored and
        climate in America, Senator
                                                                                                      passed legislation that builds
     Simmons led the trial lawyers’
         effort to block the originally   john thrasher | Jacksonville               98     97        on Florida’s efforts to attract
                                                                                                      spaceflight businesses and
              filed version of SB 378,
                                                                                                      commercial space companies
         which would have reduced
                                                                                                      to Florida by adding Cecil
             junk science in Florida's    stephen wise | Jacksonville               100     95        Airport to Space Florida’s
            court rooms and denied
                                                                                                      master planning program.
        constituents and businesses
          an opportunity to improve
      Florida's broken legal climate.
          Because of his actions, the
              Florida Chamber Policy
         Council reduced his overall
           score by one letter grade.

                          Learn how legislators voted on Florida Chamber-backed pro-business, pro-jobs legislation
                        by visiting or contact us at or 850.521.1292.
                                                                       GRADE EARNED
                                     NAME | DISTRICT                      2011  2012

                                     Joseph Abruzzo | Wellington            49    52
     Rep. Ben
    sponsored                        Janet Adkins | Fernandina Beach       100   100
   backed legislation to reform
   Florida’s property insurance      Larry Ahern | St. Petersburg          100   100
   market by returning Citizens
    to the insurer of last resort,                                                                      Rules Chair
      keeping private insurance                                                                         Rep. Gary
                                     ben albritton | Bartow                100   100                    Aubuchon
      companies solvent after a
     major storm and reducing                                                                           fought for free
 assessments on customers of                                                                            enterprise and
private insurers in the event of     Frank Artiles | Miami                  91    97   job creation by supporting
                    a hurricane.                                                       Florida Chamber-backed
                                                                                       priorities through committee,
                                                                                       budget negotiations and
                                     gary aubuchon | Cape Coral            100   100   the House floor as chair
                                                                                       of the Rules and Calendar
   Rep. Mack
      Bernard                        Dennis Baxley | Ocala                  98   100
                                     Leonard Bembry | Madison               61   84
 backed workers’ comp reform                                                                           Rep. Michael
that would have lowered costs                                                                          Bileca
 on businesses by $62 million.                                                                         sponsored
                                     Lori Berman | Delray Beach             27    51                   Florida
                                                                                       supported parent
                                                                                       empowerment bill aiming to
                                     mack bernard | West Palm Beach         57   68    increase education options for
                                                                                       parents and students.

                                     michael bileca | Miami                100   100

                                                                                                         Rep. Jeff
                                     jim boyd | Bradenton                   99   100                     filed Florida
    Rep. Jim                                                                                             Chamber-
       Boyd                                                                                              backed
  sponsored                          jeff brandes | St. Petersburg         100    97   legislation that would have
an important                                                                           ensured teachers have
      Florida                                                                          options as it relates to
Chamber-backed bill reducing                                                           professional development.
    auto insurance/PIP fraud                                                           He also sponsored a bill
                 and abuse.                                                            reforming local government
                                                                                       pension systems.

                                                                           GRADE EARNED
                                      NAME | DISTRICT                         2011  2012

                                      jason brodeur | Sanford                  100   100
     Rep. Jason
      sponsored                       Doug Broxson | Milton                    100   100
       supported legislation that
       protects Florida’s decision    Dwight Bullard | Cutler Bay               26   45
        not to tax service fees for
        booking travel to Florida.
                                      Rachel Burgin | Riverview                100   100                   Dean
                                      Matt Caldwell | Fort Myers               100   96    which saved $549 million in
                                                                                           unemployment compensation
                                                                                           taxes, eliminated 270
                                      Daphne Campbell | Miami Shores            47   65    burdensome rules,
                                                                                           streamlined the regulatory
                                                                                           process, strengthened
                                                                                           education, defeated
                                      dean cannon | Winter Park                100   100   expanded gambling and
                                                                                           nearly saved $62 million in
                                                                                           workers’ comp costs.

                                      Chuck Chestnut | Gainesville              57   65

                                      Gwyn Clarke-Reed | Pompano Beach          17   55

                                      Jeff Clemens | Lake Worth                 31   53

     Rep. Steve
                                      Marti Coley | Marianna                    97   100
       Chamber-                       Richard Corcoran | New Port Richey        97   95
      backed legislation creating
      a statewide Environmental
      Resource Permit Rule with
        single point-of-entry into    Fred Costello | DeLand                   100   100
          Florida’s environmental
          permitting process and
         easing the cost of doing
        business in Florida while
                                      steve crisafulli | Merritt Island        100   100
          protecting our valuable

                             “Much is at stake this year making it critically important that others unite with
                              the Florida Chamber to support pro-jobs candidates.”
                                  MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber

                             “Appreciate 100/A on @FLChamber Legislative Report Card.”
                                  REP. DENISE GRIMSLEY

                                                                                           GRADE EARNED
                                           NAME | DISTRICT                                    2011  2012

                                           Janet Cruz | Tampa                                       43        53

                                           Daniel Davis | Jacksonville                            100       100

                                           Jose Diaz | Miami                                        97        93
    Rep. Eric
     a Florida                             Chris Dorworth | Heathrow                                99        96
     supported exemption on
   tangible personal property
valued between $25,000 and
                                           Brad Drake | DeFuniak Springs                            99      100
  $50,000 which will save job
 creators $20 million a year if
      passed by voters on the              eric eisnaugle | Orlando                                 98      100
             November ballot.

                                           Clay Ford | Pensacola                                    95      100

                                           Erik Fresen | Miami                                      97        96

                                           Jim Frishe | Belleair Bluffs                           100       100

                                           Reggie Fullwood | Jacksonville                           51        55

                                           Matt Gaetz | Shalimar                                    90        94

                                           Luis Garcia | Miami                                      33        59

                                           Joe Gibbons | Pembroke Park                              42        66

                                           Rich Glorioso | Plant City                             100         96

                  Learn how legislators voted on Florida Chamber-backed pro-business, pro-jobs legislation
                by visiting or contact us at or 850.521.1292.
                                                                          GRADE EARNED
                                        NAME | DISTRICT                      2011  2012

                                        Eddy Gonzalez | Hialeah Gardens        93   96
     Appropriations                                                                                         Rep. Bill Hager
             Chair                                                                                          championed
       Rep. Denise                      Tom Goodson | Titusville               98   90                      Florida
          Grimsley                                                                                          Chamber-
     developed and                                                                                          backed CAT
        passed a Florida Chamber-                                                         fund legislation that would
                                        Jamie Grant | Tampa                   100   100
      supported pro-jobs, balanced                                                        have reduced assessments on
       budget without raising taxes                                                       homeowners and businesses
             or fees on businesses.                                                       following a storm and prepared
                                        denise grimsley | Sebring             100   100   Florida to financially weather a
                                                                                          hurricane and stabilized Florida’s
                                                                                          insurance market.

                                        bill hager | Boca Raton                94   100
         Rep. Doug
         sponsored                      Gayle Harrell | Port St. Lucie        100   100                      Rep. Mike
             Florida                                                                                         Horner
          Chamber-                                                                                           sponsored
      backed unemployment comp                                                                               Florida
                                        Shawn Harrison | Temple Terrace        94   92
      legislation saving job creators                                                                        Chamber-
        $549 million over two years.                                                      backed legislation leveling
                                                                                          the playing field on sales tax
                                        doug holder | Sarasota                 96   100   collection for Florida’s brick and
                                                                                          mortar businesses by closing a
                                                                                          loophole that gives out-of-state
                                                                                          online retailers an advantage
                                        Ed Hooper | Clearwater                 94   100   over Florida businesses.

                                        mike horner | Kissimmee               100   100
                                                                                                           Rep. Dorothy
                                        matt hudson | Naples                  100   100                    a Florida
                                                                                          supported bill to eliminate
                                                                                          individual company limits
                                        dorothy hukill | Port Orange           99   100   for economic development
                                                                                          incentives on businesses
                                                                                          creating high-wage jobs
         Rep. Matt
                                                                                          in targeted industries, and
           Hudson                       Clay Ingram | Pensacola               100   100
                                                                                          she worked diligently to
                                                                                          move important economic
                                                                                          development legislation
                 supported workers’
                                        Evan Jenne | Fort Lauderdale           30   39    through the House of
               compensation reform
      legislation to save businesses
       $62 million in rate increases.

              “To secure Florida’s future, the Florida Chamber invests contributions, technical support, strategy and
               grassroots manpower on pro-business candidates who understand free enterprise creates jobs.”
                MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber

              “Honored to receive an A+ rating from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.”
                REP. JIM FRISHE

                                                                                        GRADE EARNED
                                         NAME | DISTRICT                                   2011  2012

                                         Mia Jones | Jacksonville                                 28    49

                                         john julien | North Miami Beach                          69     81

     Rep. John                           Martin Kiar | Parkland                                   30    50
 Patrick Julien
      Chamber-                           Paige Kreegel | Punta Gorda                            100     88
            backed pro-business                                                                                               Majority
    legislation such as workers’                                                                                              Leader
  comp reform and the Florida            Rick Kriseman | St. Petersburg                           23    45                    Rep. Carlos
tax credit scholarship program.                                                                                               Lopez-
                                                                                                              was an integral part of the
                                         John Legg | Port Richey                                100     100   leadership team in executing
                                                                                                              a Florida Chamber-backed
                                                                                                              business-friendly agenda in
                                                                                                              the House.
                                         Ana Rivas Logan | Miami                                  93    100

                                         carlos lopez-cantera | Miami                             96    100

                                         Debbie Mayfield | Vero Beach                            100      97

                                         Charles McBurney | Jacksonville                          98    100

                                         Seth McKeel | Lakeland                                 100     100

                                         Larry Metz | Eustis                                      98    100

                                         George Moraitis | Fort Lauderdale                      100     96

                    Learn how legislators voted on Florida Chamber-backed pro-business, pro-jobs legislation
                  by visiting www.FloridaChamber.comSprings                       99   100
                                    Peter Nehr | Tarpon or contact us at or 850.521.1200.

                   Learn how legislators voted on Florida Chamber-backed pro-business, pro-jobs legislation
                 by visiting or contact us at or 850.521.1292.
                                                                         GRADE EARNED
                                       NAME | DISTRICT                      2011  2012

                                       bryan nelson | Apopka                  99   100
          Nelson                       Jeanette Nuñez | Miami                 97   100
         Chamber-backed efforts
             that made significant      Jose Oliva | Hialeah                    —    93
         reforms to Florida’s auto
            insurance market and                                                                          Rep.
               Citizens Insurance.                                                                        Kathleen
                                       Marlene O’Toole | The Villages        100    96                    Passidomo
                                       Mark Pafford | West Palm Beach         20    43   Chamber-supported legal
                                                                                         reform legislation to
                                                                                         eliminate Florida’s reputation
                                                                                         as a haven for bad-faith
                                       kathleen passidomo | Naples            93   100   insurance lawsuits.

                                       jimmy patronis | Panama City          100   100

      Rep. Jimmy                       Steve Perman | Boca Raton              33    67
          Patronis                                                                                         Rep. Scott
        sponsored                                                                                          Plakon
            Florida                                                                                        sponsored
         Chamber-                      W. Keith Perry | Gainesville          100   100                     a Florida
              supported legislation                                                                        Chamber-
             to streamline Florida’s                                                     backed bill that would have
      regulatory process, eliminate                                                      clarified in Florida statutes
     costly duplicative regulations,
                                       Ray Pilon | Sarasota                   98    92   that Internet cafes are illegal
         expand the use of general                                                       in Florida.
      permits and protect Florida’s
                      environment.     scott plakon | Longwood               100   100

                                       Elizabeth W. Porter | Lake City       100   100

                                       Ari Porth | Coral Springs              47    58

          “By mobilizing our employer members and local chambers of commerce partners, the Florida Chamber
           reaches more than three million employees with far-reaching grassroots advocacy efforts.”
           MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber

          “Proud to have earned an ‘A’ grade. Through the Legislative Report Card, business leaders are able to see how.”

                                                                                        GRADE EARNED
                                        NAME | DISTRICT                                    2011  2012

                                       steve precourt | Orlando                                100      100
   Rep. Steve
                                                                                                                               Lake Ray
    led Florida                        Bill Proctor | St. Augustine                            100      100                    sponsored
    legislative efforts to provide
                                       Scott Randolph | Orlando                                    22   43    backed legislation building
        substantial tax relief for
                                                                                                              on Florida’s efforts to attract
           businesses, including
                                                                                                              spaceflight businesses and
       manufacturers, and also
                                                                                                              commercial space companies
provide additional tax relief by       lake ray | Jacksonville                                 100      100   to Florida by adding Cecil
 raising the corporate income
                                                                                                              Airport to Space Florida’s
  tax exemption from $25,000
                                                                                                              master planning program;
                      to $50,000.
                                                                                                              he was a key player in
                                       Betty Reed | Tampa                                          44   58    strengthening Florida’s role as
                                                                                                              a global hub for trade.

                                       Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda | Tallahassee                  29   56

                                       Doc Renuart | Ponte Vedra Beach                             96   100

                                       Kenneth Roberson | Port Charlotte                           99   100

                                       Hazelle Rogers | Lauderhill                                 34   55

                                       Patrick Rooney | Palm Beach Gardens                     100      100

                                       Darryl Rouson | St. Petersburg                              32   65

                                       Franklin Sands | Sunrise                                    43    70

                                       Ron Saunders | Tavernier                                    47   63

                    Learn how legislators voted on Florida Chamber-backed pro-business, pro-jobs legislation
                  by visiting or contact us at or 850.521.1292.
                                                                         GRADE EARNED
                                      NAME | DISTRICT                       2011  2012

                                      robert schenck | Spring Hill           100   100
        Schenck                       Elaine Schwartz | Hollywood             22    48
     strong with
     the business community on
     Florida Chamber-supported        Irv Slosberg | Boca Raton               32    45
      legislation that would have
      made important reforms to
       the workers’ comp system
                                      Jimmie Smith | Lecanto                 100   100
       by reducing rising rates for
         businesses and lowering
          the cost by $62 million.
                                      William Snyder | Stuart                 98    95

                                                                                                           Rep. Kelli
                                      Darren Soto | Orlando                   35    57
                                                                                                           a Florida
                                      Cynthia Stafford | Miami                15    33   backed education bill giving
                                                                                         21st century technology
                                                                                         options to students in public
                                                                                         schools and allows students
                                      kelli stargel | Lakeland                95   100   entering grades K-5 to
                                                                                         participate in Florida Virtual
                                                                                         School’s full-time virtual
                                                                                         instruction programs and full-
                                      Richard Steinberg | Miami Beach         16    68   time virtual charter schools.

                                      Greg Steube | Sarasota                  90   100

                                      Dwayne Taylor | Daytona Beach           36    67

                                      Geraldine Thompson | Orlando            32    38

                                      Perry Thurston | Fort Lauderdale        34    42

   “The Florida Chamber will continue to battle enemies of the free enterprise system in order to secure Florida’s future.”
     MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber

   “Honored to receive a 100% A grade from the FL Chamber. I’ll continue to support FL biz and work hard putting FL’s
    econ on the right track.”

                                                                                        GRADE EARNED
                                        NAME | DISTRICT                                    2011  2012

                                         John Tobia | Melbourne                              100   95

                                         Carlos Trujillo | Miami                             100    96

                                         Charles Van Zant | Palatka                          100   98
       Rep. Will
   led efforts to                        James Waldman | Coconut Creek                       43    50
 support Florida
          backed unemployment
        compensation tax relief by       Barbara Watson | Miami Gardens                      22    34
      reducing the tax increase by
approximately $50 per employee,                                                                                            Rep. Trudi
   saving employers $549 million                                                                                           Williams
                  over two years.        will weatherford | Wesley Chapel                    100   100
                                         Michael Weinstein | Orange Park                     92    89    supported efforts to create
                                                                                                         regulatory certainty for utilities
                                                                                                         that invest in alternative water
                                                                                                         projects by extending their
                                         trudi williams | Ft. Myers                          100   100   permit duration to 30 years.
    Rep. Ritch
    sponsored                            Alan Williams | Tallahassee                          41   68
     Chamber-                                                                                                               Rep. Dana
         backed legislation that                                                                                            Young filed
           helps ensure Florida          John Wood | Haines City                             100   100
       remains a global leader                                                                                              Florida
       in spaceflight activity by                                                                                            Chamber-
   providing flexibility to Space
                                         ritch workman | Melbourne                           99    100   supported legislation creating
     Florida and strengthening                                                                           regulatory certainty for
        the state’s aviation and                                                                         utilities to invest in water
        aerospace industries to                                                                          treatment plants and piping
      result in more economic            dana young | Tampa                                  100   100   systems to encourage the
      activity and job creation.                                                                         use of reclaimed water by its

                     Learn how legislators voted on Florida Chamber-backed pro-business, pro-jobs legislation
                   by visiting or contact us at or 850.521.1292.
     Florida’s 2012 Political Landscape
                                                   R   edistricting –a word we have heard a lot about lately. That’s because Florida’s
                                                       political boundary lines must be redrawn every 10 years to accurately reflect
                                                   changes in population. Florida just completed its 2012 Legislative Session — a
                                                   session in which the Senate and the House passed new boundary lines.

                                                   The Florida Supreme Court accepted the House plan, but rejected parts of the
                                                   Senate plan, forcing the legislature into an extraordinary special session on
                                                   redistricting. During the special session, lawmakers passed a new Senate map and
                                                   now the Florida Supreme Court has until June 4th to accept it or redraw the lines.

                                                   The Congressional map passed the Florida Legislature, was signed by Governor
                                                   Scott and now the U. S. Department of Justice is reviewing it to evaluate the five
                                                   counties under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Theoretically, the Congressional
             Florida Chamber Political Institute   maps should be completed. However, this year, there is another fly in the
        members get an insider’s perspective of    ointment. The Florida Democratic Party and friends have filed a lawsuit in State
      the proposed redistricting maps at a 2012    Court claiming the maps are unconstitutional. A hearing is pending.
                           FCPI Board Meeting.
                                                   While there are many incumbents who will represent parts of their old districts
                                                   in their new district, each has lost some of its old constituency while gaining new
                                                   ones. Because boundary lines have changed, you may have a new Congressman,
                                                   Senator or Representative even though neither you nor the legislator has moved.

                                                   Here’s how the general election ballot will shape up:
                                                   £All 40 Florida Senate seats up for election,
                                                   £All 120 Florida House seats up for election,
                                                   £All 27 Congressional seats are up for election
                                                    (Includes 2 new seats gained from the 2010 Census),
              2012 IMPORTANT DATES                 £One U.S. Senate seat up for election, and
                                                   £11 Constitutional Amendments
                       2012 Legislative
                       Qualifying Dates
                    Noon, June 4, 2012 –           Moving forward, the Florida Chamber Political Institute is studying the new district
                     Noon, June 8, 2012            lines, evaluating each legislator’s report card grade, interviewing every candidate
                                                   and reviewing candidate questionnaire responses.

                       Primary Election            Florida is losing 22 incumbents (11 in the House and 11 in the Senate) to term
                        August 14, 2012            limits and possibly another 22 (20 in the House and 2 in the Senate) who will
                     (In order to vote in          be vacating their seat to seek other options. That’s a total of at least 44 new
                                                   legislators — more than 25 percent of the entire legislative body and that doesn’t
              the primary, you must be             count the other races.
            registered by July 16, 2012)
                                                   There is much at stake in the 2012 elections. We must continue to battle enemies
                                                   of the free enterprise system in order to secure Florida’s future.
                       General Election
                      November 6, 2012             To view the maps, visit:
                     (In order to vote in
                   the general election,                             FLORIDA VOTER REGISTRATION | JANUARY 2012
                 you must be registered                DEMOCRAT             REPUBLICAN          NO AFFILIATION             MINOR
                                                        4,542,415            4,091,376             2,278,204               346,716
                    by October 9, 2012)

                                                          41                    36                   20                     3

During the 2012 Legislative Session, four Joint Resolutions were passed. These
will appear on the 2012 ballot along with the additional seven from last year.

£Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran
 or First Responder: Proposes amendment to State Constitution to allow
 Legislature by general law to provide ad valorem homestead property tax relief
 to surviving spouse of military veteran who died from service-connected causes
 while on active duty or surviving spouse of first responder who died in line of
 duty, provide definitions with respect thereto, & provide effective date.

£Additional Homestead Tax Exemption for Seniors: Proposes amendment to
 s. 6, Art. VII of State Constitution to authorize Legislature, by general law, to
 allow counties & municipalities to grant additional homestead tax exemption
 equal to assessed value of homestead property, if property has just value lower        Mike Fields, Chair of the Florida Chamber
 than specified amount, to owner who has maintained permanent residency on               Political Institute and President of Bank of
 property for specified duration, who has attained age 65, & whose household             America, Florida, with Marian Johnson,
 income does not exceed specified amount.                                                Senior Vice President of Political Strategy
                                                                                        for the Florida Chamber, discussing the
£Board of Governors/Student Member of Board of Governors: Proposes
 amendment to s. 7, Art. IX of State Constitution to revise selection process for       2012 elections during a Florida Chamber
 student member of Board of Governors of State University System.                       Political Institute meeting.

£Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemptions: Proposes amendment to s. 3,
 Art. VII & creation of s. 32, Art. XII of State Constitution to provide additional     “As we approach the 2012
 exemption from ad valorem taxes on tangible personal property valued at more
 than $25,000 but less than $50,000, to authorize county or municipality to provide     elections season, all eyes will be
 additional exemption from ad valorem taxation for tangible personal property by        on Florida. Our state will be one
 ordinance as provided by general law, & to provide effective date.
                                                                                        of the main battlegrounds for the
                                                                                        presidential race, and with all
The Florida Chamber’s Political Operations team understands the importance of           160 state legislative seats up for
electing strong, courageous leaders to legislative office. To secure Florida’s future,   election due to the redistricting
we invest contributions, technical support, strategy and grassroots manpower
                                                                                        process, the Florida Chamber and
on pro-business candidates who understand free enterprise creates jobs and
prosperity. By mobilizing our employer members and local chamber of commerce            the united business community
partners, the Florida Chamber reaches more than three million employees with            will be ready to stand behind
far-reaching grassroots advocacy efforts.
                                                                                        strong, pro-business candidates
Much is at stake this year, making it critically important that others unite with us    more than ever before.”
in the 2012 election cycle. Join the fight by contributing to our CCEs (Committees
of Continuing Existence) to directly support candidates who support Florida             Mike Fields
businesses or to one of our 527 advocacy organizations, or join hand-in-hand with       President-Florida
our many volunteers working to get good candidates elected.                             Bank of America
                                                                                        Florida Chamber Board Member and
To learn more about being involved in the Florida Chamber’s political action            Florida Chamber Political Institute Chair
efforts or the Political Institute, please contact Marian Johnson at 850.521.1241 or

                                                                                        GET INVOLVED:
                                                                                        If you would like to learn more about the
                                                                                        Political Institute and how you can get
                                                                                        involved, please contact Marian Johnson at
                                                                                        850.521.1241 or


     Join the Florida Chamber!

                                                     P   ositively influencing the decisions of Florida’s lawmakers requires signifi-
                                                         cant funding, proactive grassroots mobilization, expertise on the issues and
                                                     strength in numbers. The Florida Chamber’s unique combination of an expe-
                                                     rienced and connected lobbying team, the state’s most extensive grassroots
                                                     network, the business community’s most aggressive political action program,
                                                     and a solutions-driven development and research Foundation are what makes
                                                     us the voice of the business community and
                                                     the driving force of Florida’s future.
                                                                                                                 “The Florida
                                                     What our state needs most is a united business          Chamber embodies
                                                     community that puts the long-term business
                                                     climate ahead of short-term fixes. The Florida             what the face of
                                                     Chamber is ready to stand up and fight for                Florida’s business
         President of the Florida Chamber, Mark      the issues that matter to you, issues like job
        Wilson, with Governor Rick Scott, Chair      creation, less government regulation, lawsuit                stands for.”
          of the Florida Chamber and Senior Vice     abuse reform, education reform, increasing
                                                                                                                  Will Weatherford
          President & CFO of Walt Disney Parks       Florida’s exports, fixing Florida’s insolvent                  Florida House
       and Resorts, U.S., Anthony Connelly, and
                                                     property insurance markets and so much more.                Speaker Designate
             President & CEO of Florida Hospital,    As members of the Florida Chamber, you can
     Lars Houmann, at a recent Florida Chamber       participate in:
                       Board of Directors meeting.                                                                “The Florida
                                                     £ Board of Governors – Florida’s leading                Chamber’s Board of
                                                       companies regularly receive executive
                                                       legislative and political briefings, and also          Governors is where
                                                       have the opportunity to meet directly with              I’m able to have
                                                       state leaders, including members of the                a voice in leading
                    “As the leading voice              Florida Cabinet, heads of state agencies,
                                                       and members of Florida’s Congressional                 Florida forward.”
                     of Florida’s business
                                                       Delegation as they work together to pass                   Samira Beckwith
                  community, we have a                 the Florida Chamber business agenda and                    Hope Health Care
                   responsibility to make              champion free enterprise.
              private sector job creation            £ Small Business Council – Florida’s small businesses are essential to the
           the top priority for our state.”            recovery of the state’s economy. The Small Business Council works directly
                                                       with state and national leaders to pass important legislation like the Small
                              Anthony Connelly         Business Credit Initiative that will help increase access to capital and create
              2012 Chair of the Florida Chamber        jobs and bring prosperity to Florida’s small businesses.
                               of Commerce and
                    Senior Vice President & CFO      £ International Business Committee – Businesses whose interests extend
               Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, U.S.       internationally work to advocate free trade agreements and international
                                                       issues in both Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.

                                                     Join local, state and national leaders every year to address critical business
                                                     issues at The Future of Florida Forum, Capitol Days, Insurance Summit,
                                                     International Days and other annual Chamber events.

                                                     If you would like to take an active role in shaping Florida’s future and add your
                             GET INVOLVED:           voice to thousands of others in the united business community, join the Florida
        Contact Tim Giuliani at 850.521.1265         Chamber in our mission to secure Florida’s future.
            or to
           find out how you can help secure
         Florida’s future as a member of the
            Florida Chamber of Commerce.
      2012 Future of Florida Forum & Annual Meeting
           October 8-9, 2012 • Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, Orlando

          This once-a-year opportunity
  brings together CEOs, small business owners,
    chambers of commerce, elected leaders,
  non-profit and international thought leaders
            to move Florida forward.

• Meet with leaders presenting long-term recommendations
  on the Six Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy
• Hear how Florida is measuring up with an in-depth Florida
  Scorecard update
• Network with the best and brightest minds in Florida

                                                                                         A program of
RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW for the 2012 Future of Florida
Forum by calling Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club at 407.934.3372.
Be sure to mention you’re with the Florida Chamber Foundation
to secure your special rate.
Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Juli Puckett,, 850.521.1217.

                                    “The Florida Chamber’s modern
“(The Florida Chamber)
                                        track record of winning its             “Business groups, like the
     is the biggest and                priority agenda issues sets              Florida Chamber, wield
    most sophisticated                a statewide standard: when                considerable sway in the
     arm of a business               they identify a priority to pass,          Legislature, and leverage
      lobby that wields                     it usually happens.                 their ability to raise money,
extraordinary influence                  When they commit to kill               fund campaigns and create
       in Tallahassee.”                                                         economic development. In
                                         something (can you say
                                                                                the last two years, they’ve
        Orlando Sentinel,              “Hometown Democracy”?),
        February 25, 2012                                                       been wildly successful,
                                           they kill it for good.”              seeing most of their wishes
                                              Peter Schorsch,                   turned into law.”
                                              February 3, 2012                  Tampa Bay Times,
                                                                                March 12, 2012

                    HOW THEY VOTED
Where Legislators Stood on the Florida Chamber ’s 2012 Business Agenda

                                   SECURING FLORIDA’S FUTURE

                            136 South Bronough Street • Tallahassee, FL 32301
                       • 850.521.1265

To top