Policy & Transportation Digest

Florida House and Senate begin to talk about health care

Despite the ongoing debate in Washington, the Florida House and Senate are looking at a series of bills and ideas that they hope will offset some of the state Medicaid cost.

Governor continues fight for tourism dollars

This week Governor Rick Scott released a video that takes aim at the Florida House who voted to eliminate Enterprise Florida and drastically cut Visit Florida

 

This week in Tallahassee:

Economic Incentives:

Last week, the Florida House passed two bills that will 1.  Eliminate Enterprise Florida and all economic incentives that attract new businesses to Florida. 2.  Reduce the scope and power of Visit Florida.

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce supports both Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.  We believe there is still time for a thoughtful and productive discussion between the Florida House and Florida Senate that will allow for changes that create transparency without a complete elimination and/or the ability to function in a competitive environment.

The conversation between the House and Senate must begin today and continue until a reasonable solution is found.  Reach out to your Representative and Senator now and tell them that you want and expect them to find a solution that is fair and productive for a stronger Florida

Currently, there is no Senate companion bill.

The Chamber OPPOSED HB 7005.

The Florida House also approved HB 0009 which drastically weakens the capacity of Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency.

Currently, there is no Senate companion bill.

The Chamber OPPOSSED HB 0009

If you would like to encourage your State Representative and State Senator to continue the conversation regarding incentives and tourism, please click here to send them an email. 


Public Transportation Commission:

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee unanimously passed HB 647, a local bill that will eliminate the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission.  The bill has one more committee stops before being heard on the floor of the Florida House.

The Chamber SUPPORTS HB 647


Ridesharing regulations:

The Senate Insurance and Banking Committee passed an amended SB 340 this week.   The bill will allow for a statewide regulation for ridesharing services. A strike all amendment was offered by the bill sponsor, Senator Jeff Brandes, which would allow the bill to allow seaports to impose pickup fees on rideshare drivers when picking up or dropping riders from ports, as long as they do not exceed what that particular port is charging taxicab companies to pay.  A second amendment offered by the bill sponsor would require ridesharing companies to contract with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to review their insurance and background check process. The DFS will have the authority to impose civil penalties if the companies are noncompliant. The bill has two more committee stops before being heard by the full Senate.

The House companion bill HB 221 has passed all committee stops and will be heard on the floor of the  House soon.


Moffitt funding:

The Senate Regulated Industries Committee passed SB 662 unanimously.  The bill has two more committee stops in the Senate before being heard by the entire Senate.

The House version HB 651 has not been heard in a committee meeting yet.

The Chamber SUPPORTS SB 647/HB 651

 

As things are changing in Tallahassee, Washington D.C. and here in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Chamber is watching those issues that are important to the community and your business. Here is some of what we are watching:

  • Possible changes to the Affordable Health Care Act
  • Possible changes with the relations between the U.S. and Cuba
  • Appropriations request rule changes in Tallahassee
  • Medical Marijuana and what that means to Tampa Bay
  • Workers’ Comp. Rate
  • Premium Transit Study
  • Regional MPO
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