The Florida Chamber of Commerce has out its annual Jobs Agenda for the 2019 legislative session.
The Chamber's three priorities are, broadly, lowering the cost of living, reducing the cost of doing business and preparing for future growth.
Florida has outpaced the nation in job growth for the past eight years, said Mark Wilson, president and CEO. But changes are necessary to keep the economy strong. Florida is not only competing with other states, but other countries as well.
“Just to put this in perspective: Florida is already a $1 trillion economy," said Wilson. "If we were a country, we would be the seventeenth largest economy in the world. We believe our chief economist estimates that if all goes well, we’ll add another 150,000 jobs in 2019 in Florida.”
To address the cost of living, the Chamber wants a reduction in auto and homeowners insurance rates. Wilson largely attributed this to Assignment of Benefits scams, which the legislature has had its eye on in the lead up to this year's session.
Another priority is reducing business rent and internet sales taxes, which the Chamber calls "discouraging," "discriminatory" and "uncompetative.
Rounding out the top priorities, is preparing students for a so-called educational skills gap. This includes strengthening science, technology, enginering and mathmatics programs, and expanding early learning opportunities.
Wilson said the Chamber's priorities are closely aligned with Gov. Ron DeSantis', as well as legislative leaders like state Senate Pres. Bill Galvano and House Speaker Jose Oliva.