Category Archives: Chamber Initiatives

Key Strategic Initiatives

02Jun/15

Creating Jobs by Diversifying Florida’s Economy Means Marketing Florida’s Business Climate Nationwide

For a more competitive Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce supports marketing Florida’s “Perfect Climate for Business.”

Governor Rick Scott and many leaders in the Florida Legislature and in the private-sector deserve credit for making Florida’s business climate more competitive and attractive. However, decision makers in other states won’t know about Florida’s progress in education, regulatory reform or tax cuts if we don’t aggressively tell the Florida story.

Did you know, Florida has a $77 billion state budget, but hasn’t invested in branding and marketing campaigns in target states? Yet, other states spend the following:

  • California: $50 Million
  • Connecticut: $27 Million
  • Michigan: $25 Million
  • New York: $140 Million
  • Texas: $21.2 Million

Currently, Enterprise Florida does not receive state funding to market Florida as a business destination. The Florida Chamber, along with several partner organizations, are advocating the Florida Legislature to dedicate at least $20 million in annual funding to continue marketing Florida’s business brand to out-of-state companies.

For those of you who have already joined us in the arena to fight for free enterprise, we thank you. The battle for free enterprise continues during special session and we appreciate your support. Contact me at cjohnson@flchamber.com or (850) 521-1235. Remember, when the Florida Chamber wins, Florida wins. When Florida wins, America wins.

02Jun/15

Senate Health Policy Committee Passes FHIX 2.0

Yesterday, the opening day of 2015 Special Session A, the Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy chaired by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) passed Senate Bill 2-A, Health Insurance Affordability Exchange. The legislation strengthens the core principles of the Florida Senate’s Health Insurance Affordability Exchange (FHIX) Program, including consumer choice and personal responsibility, which earned the overwhelming bipartisan support of the Senate during the 2015 Regular Session.

The FHIX program offers health care coverage to an estimated 800,000 uninsured, low-income Floridians earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Under FHIX, enrollees will receive a premium credit, to shop for plans, services, and products on the FHIX marketplace. Enrollees may access plans on the federal health insurance exchange, all Florida Health Choices products and services, products offered by the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, and employer sponsored plans. Enrollees will also be provided with a health reimbursement or health savings account.

To be eligible, an individual must be a U.S. citizen and a Florida resident. Participants are required to complete an initial application for coverage which includes proof of employment, on-the-job training, or placement activities, including registration with CareerSource Florida, or pursuit of educational opportunities at a minimum hourly level. Parents with children under the age of 18 would have a minimum requirement of 20 hours per week. Childless adults (disabled adults or caregivers of disabled children or adults may submit exceptions) would have a minimum requirement of 30 hours per week.

The bill provides the Agency for Health Care Administration with authority to seek federal approval to implement the FHIX program. Any significant changes to the FHIX program made or suggested by the federal government would have to be approved by the legislature prior to implementation. Triggers to end the program in its entirety are also included should the program not be approved or if the federal match rate falls below certain thresholds.

For more information on the FHIX program, please visit the Florida Senate online.

19May/15

Congressman Ross Welcomes Local Veterans to D.C.

U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, released the following statement after he and members of his staff welcomed veterans from the Flight to Honor Polk Florida and the Honor Flight of West Central Florida to Washington, D.C.

“I am truly privileged to welcome these brave veterans visiting our Nation’s Capital today. These courageous soldiers fought to preserve our country’s freedoms in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to shake their hands and personally thank them for the sacrifices they made to defend our nation’s honor.

“As the son of a WWII Navy Veteran and brother of three veterans, I have seen firsthand the selflessness, integrity and devotion that goes into being a United States soldier. Words cannot adequately express the respect and gratitude I have for these fine men and women. It is a blessing to live in a country made free by these heroes.”

The Flight to Honor Polk Florida and the Honor Flight of West Central Florida programs enable World War II and Korean and Vietnam War veterans from across the entire nation to view their memorials in Washington, D.C. There were 90 Polk and Hillsborough County veterans in attendance of today’s flights.

Veterans and guardians who wish to participate in the Flight to Honor Polk Florida can request an application by visiting http://www.polkveteranscouncil.com/flight-to-honor.html or calling 863-940-4841. Those wishing to participate in the Honor Flight of West Central Florida can visit http://honorflightwcf.org/apply-for-a-flight/ or call (727) 498-6079.

To view photos from today’s event, click here.

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