Policy & Transportation Digest

Fight for Tourism continues

Industry experts continue to talk about the need for tourism dollars in Florida.  A recent move by the Florida House will reduce Visit Florida and make it difficult for the agency to continue to promote the state’s tourism industry.

The Chamber supports the funding of Visit Florida

See what a Chamber member and small business owner is saying about how important Visit Florida is to her business.

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority releases Economic Impact Report

THEA released a recent report that says the agency has generated $1.2 billion in local and state gross domestic product and a combined 13,200 jobs.

 

This week in Tallahassee:

Moffitt funding:

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

As the legislative session progresses in Tallahassee, there are several important issues and bills that are currently not easily moving through the process, and this includes the House version of the bill, HB 651 sponsored by Representative Jamie Grant*.

As a Tampa Bay asset, Moffitt also serves as a health care provider, entrepreneurial leader and economic driver for the state.  With a $2.1 billion annual economic impact, Moffitt employs more than 5,200 professionals serving more than 53,000 patients with 361,000 outpatients visits annually.

Email your legislators today and tell them you think it is important for HB 651 and SB 662 to advance in both the House and the Senate.

*If your legislator is Senator Dana Young or Representative Jamie Grant, please note they are the bill sponsors.  When sending an email to either Senator Young or Representative Grant, you may want to thank them (you can alter the sample letter in the link) for their leadership in supporting the bill.

Click here and enter your name and home address (click “remember me” if you want to save your information for future calls to action) then hit submit to see a sample letter that you can send immediately.

The Chamber SUPPORTS SB 647/HB 651 as one of the top priorities.

 Regional Transit Authority:

HB 1243 sponsored by Representative Dan Raulerson and SB 1672 sponsored by Senator Jack Latvala, relating to Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, changes the size and scope of the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority including a future plan for the agency to create a plan to implement and operate a multimodal transit options throughout the region.

The Chamber’s Transportation Council discussed the legislation and determined the bill does meet the board approved Transportation Guiding Principles.

The Chamber supports SB 1672/HB 1243.

Currently, HB 1243 has passed Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee and has three more committee stops.

SB 1672 has passed the Transportation Committee and has two more committee stops.

Ridesharing regulations:

The Senate Insurance and Banking Committee passed an amended SB 340 last week.   The bill will allow for a statewide regulation for ridesharing services. 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 is expected to be heard on the floor of the House soon.

 

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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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

Policy & Transportation Digest

Elected Florida Secretary of State

Senator Aaron Bean  offered a joint resolution this week that would allow voters to decide if the office of Secretary of State should be an elected position again.

Florida House begins to work on budget cuts

Members of the Florida House began to look at budget cuts as part of the Chamber’s budget proposal.

This week in Tallahassee:

Economic Incentives:

This week, the Florida House passed HB 7005 which will among other things, eliminate Enterprise Florida. This will make it difficult for Florida to compete with other states when attracting new businesses to the state.

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 hereto send them an email. 


Public Transportation Commission:

The House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee unanimously passedHB 647, a local bill that will eliminate the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission.  The bill has two more committee stops before being heard on the floor of the Florida House.

The Chamber SUPPORTS HB 647


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

signature

Policy & Transportation Digest

By Michael Maurino, Director of Government Relations, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Meet the candidates at Hob Nob! The election season heats up at the 2016 Political Hob Nob on Monday, August 1 at the Tampa Hilton Downtown. As of today, 37 candidates are planning to attend. Purchase your tickets today to meet and greet the candidates a few weeks ahead of the 2016 primaries, and participate in the highly anticipated straw poll. If you are working with a candidate who is interested in purchasing a table at the event, email me at mmaurino@tampachamber.com .

If you are not a registered voter, or need to update your information, we encourage you to visit the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, or your local elections office. August 1 is also the last day to register for the August 30 primary.

Moffitt wins grant for free mammograms: A few weeks after being profiled in Vice President Joe Biden’s “moonshot” to cure cancer, Moffitt Cancer Center was awarded a grant that will provide free mammograms to more than 400 women. The $126,000 grant was awarded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Cool moves for Vinik project: The Tampa City Council this week approved a plan for a chiller plant that will provide air conditioning for the Strategic Property Partners’ projects led by Jeff Vinik, plus the new USF Medical School and Amalie Arena. This allows the tops of buildings in the district to be used for other purposes, like restaurants and parks.

Policy & Transportation Digest

By Michael Maurino, Director of Government Relations, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Meet the candidates at Hob Nob! The election season heats up at the 2016 Political Hob Nob on Monday, August 1 at the Tampa Hilton Downtown. Meet and greet the candidates a few weeks ahead of the 2016 primaries, and participate in the highly anticipated straw poll. Purchase your tickets today!

Below are the candidates currently scheduled to attend. If you are working with a candidate who is interested in purchasing a table at the event, email me at mmaurino@tampachamber.com .

US Representative District 14 – Christine Quinn
State Attorney – Mark Ober
State Senate District 19 – Ed Narain
State Representative District 59 – Ross Spano
State Representative District 60 – Rebecca Smith, Jackie Toledo
State Representative District 63 – Shawn Harrison
Circuit Judge 13, Group 3 – Carl Hinson
Circuit Judge 13, Group 24 – Isabel Cissy Boza Sevelin, Melissa Polo
Clerk of Circuit Court – Kevin Beckner, Eric Seidel
Property Appraiser – Bob Henriquez, Todd Jones
County Commission District 6 – Jim Norman, Tim Schock, Brian Willis
School Board District 3 – Cindy Stuart
School Board District 7 – Alan Clendenin
County Court – Shelton Bridges, Miriam Valkenburg

TPA > HAV via SWA: Years of advocacy paid off this week when the US Department of Transportation awarded Tampa International Airport one of the coveted commercial airline flights to Havana starting later this year. Southwest Airlines will have once daily service between Tampa and Havana, and has a website for interested travelers. It was announced in June that Tampa was not selected for commercial flights to other locations in Cuba.

Twenty flights were approved out of 60 applications. American Airlines will have the most flights, four of which will originate in Miami. Miami will also have service from Delta and Frontier. Ft. Lauderdale will have four flights daily split between JetBlue and Southwest. Orlando will have one daily flight via JetBlue.

Policy & Transportation Digest

By Michael Maurino, Director of Government Relations, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

TBX rolls ahead: Early Thursday morning, the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization approved the inclusion of the Tampa Bay Express project in their list of priority projects. The MPO voted 12-4 to keep TBX and the associated projects in the MPO’s long range plan, following a nearly eight-hour meeting.

Chamber representatives who spoke supported the project going forward, but also encouraged continued conversation between the Florida Department of Transportation, MPO members, and the community. In addition to the MPO’s approval, they approved a motion that would require FDOT to perform several studies to measure the progress of the project. TBX still has to be approved annually by the MPO.

Don’t look back, USF might be gaining on you: The University of South Florida was awarded “emerging preeminence” status this week by the Florida Board of Governors’ Strategic Planning Committee. If USF’s status is confirmed by the Board of Governors, it could net an additional $5 million in funding. USF has met all but three of the 12 criteria needed to join the University of Florida and Florida State University at “preeminence” status. USF is also aiming to become a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, where it would join UF as the only Florida schools.

Moffitt Moonshot next week: On Wednesday, June 29, 2-4pm, Moffitt Cancer Center will host a Cancer Moonshot Summit in conjunction with Vice President Joe Biden’s summit in Washington happening at the same time. To register, you can visit their Facebook page or email PolicyForum@Moffitt.org.

Meet the candidates at Hob Nob! The election season heats up at the 2016 Political Hob Nob on Monday, August 1 at the Tampa Hilton Downtown. Meet and greet the candidates a few weeks ahead of the 2016 primaries, and participate in the highly anticipated straw poll. Purchase your tickets today!

Policy & Transportation Digest

By Michael Maurino, Director of Government Relations, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

#YesTo20: The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is encouraging the community to support a 20-year, half-cent sales tax referendum for transportation improvements in Hillsborough County and the Cities of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace. The Chamber’s #YesTo20 advocacy initiative calls on the Hillsborough County Commission to place on the November ballot a referendum that would fund local road improvements, expand transit, and build pedestrian facilities. To improve our economy and quality of life, a 20-year, half-cent plan is the best way to make additional, long term investments transportation.

If you are interested in making your voice heard and asking the County Commission to say #YesTo20, the County Commission will be holding their public meeting on the referendum on Thursday, June 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hillsborough County Center, or email the County Commissioners. You can also join the conversation on social media with #YesTo20. Visit our Facebook, linkedin, Twitter, and YouTube for videos from Chamber members, and more information on #YesTo20.

County Commissioner Sandy Murman sent an email to her constituents today seeking their opinions on the possible permutations of a transportation referendum. The Tampa Bay Times wrote an editorial today opposing the plan before the County Commission because there is “too little emphasis on transit and too much on roads.”

Ballpark and nature park caught between St. Pete and Hillsborough: Officials from Tampa and Hillsborough County met this week with Tampa Bay Rays officials to discuss nine potential sites for a Rays stadium in Tampa or Hillsborough. Meanwhile, St. Petersburg officials are continuing their discussions about a new Rays stadium in St. Pete.

But that isn’t the only park being discussed on both sides of the bay. Lake Park, a nearly 600-acre nature park in Lutz, has been closed since a sinkhole developed last year. Hillsborough runs the park, but St. Petersburg owns the land from a time when it was a regularly used wellfield and that part of Hillsborough had more cows than people. St. Pete wants Hillsborough to pay for repairs to the sinkhole, and increase their rent from $1 to $36,000 annually.

Upcoming events (register at TampaChamber.com)

Gridlock! Finding solutions to Tampa’s traffic woes: Tuesday, June 21, 8:00am
Operation Partnership Civilian Career Day:
Friday, June 24, 8:00am