Florida Chamber Names 2013 Distinguished Advocate Recipients
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Edie Ousley 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
29 State Lawmakers Recognized as Pro-Jobs Champions
“As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s freedom, the Florida Chamber is proud
to honor legislative leaders who stood strong in support of the entrepreneurial
free enterprise system which made our country great and that is helping put
Florida in position to become the number one job creator in the nation.”
– David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce
Tallahassee, FL (July 2, 2013) – Honoring members of the Florida Legislature for championing the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Florida Business Agenda, the Florida Chamber today named 29 legislators (9 Senators and 20 Representatives) as 2013 Distinguished Advocates.
“As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s freedom, the Florida Chamber is proud to honor legislative leaders who stood strong in support of the entrepreneurial free enterprise system which made our country great and that is helping put Florida in position to become the number one job creator in the nation,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Florida Chamber Distinguished Advocates are named annually and are special awards presented to legislators who go above and beyond in advocating pro-jobs legislative priorities to make Florida more competitive. The Distinguished Advocate award announcement is in addition to publishing grades earned by all 160 legislators on theFlorida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card in May, and naming Representative Larry Metz as the Florida Chamber’s 2013 Most Valuable Legislator in June.
The 29 Florida Chamber 2013 Distinguished Advocates helped ensure consideration of the business community’s legislative priorities, and furthered the Florida Chamber’s legislative agenda to make Florida’s business climate more competitive and lower the cost of living for Florida’s families and small businesses. Additionally, each of the 2013 Distinguished Advocates exemplified leadership or sponsored Florida Chamber-backed legislative priorities that successfully passed during the 2013 Legislative Session and were signed into law by Governor Rick Scott.
“Early on we encouraged lawmakers to focus on making Florida more competitive and improving the economic conditions for families and businesses,” Hart added. “In doing so, they helped put Florida in position for continued private-sector job creation this year, and improve the economic health of communities and regions across Florida. The Florida Chamber is pleased to honor the Distinguished Advocate award to lawmakers who championed free enterprise principles for job creation.”
The 2013 Distinguished Advocate Awards include:
Senator Thad Altman
Led environmental regulation improvements (SB 1684/HB 999).
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto
Led efforts to create efficient and cost effective state procurement processes (HB 1309/ SB 1150).
Senator Jeff Brandes
Championed transparent local pension plans and worked to expand virtual learning opportunities (SB 534/ HB 599).
Senate President Don Gaetz
Championed free enterprise efforts by supporting legal reform, property insurance reform and expanding Career and Professional Education academies.
Senator Denise Grimsley
Led efforts to reduce costly Medicaid fraud (SB 844/ HB 939).
Senator Alan Hays
Championed efforts to reduce workers’ compensation costs, strengthen alternative water supply, and worked to right-size Florida’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (SB 364/HB 109).
Senator Tom Lee
Championed medical liability legal reform (SB 1792/HB 827).
Senator Garret Richter
Led the charge to eliminate junk science in the courtroom (SB 1412/HB 7015).
Senator John Thrasher
Remained a steadfast friend of free enterprise by supporting numerous Florida Chamber initiatives as Rules Chair (SB 1030/HB 155).
House of Representatives
Representative Janet Adkins
Worked to ensure K-12 curriculum is rigorous and relevant (SB 1076).
Representative Ben Albritton
Championed efficient and cost effective state procurement processes (HB 1309/ SB 1150).
Representative Jim Boyd
Championed an expedited manufacturing plan permit process (HB 357/SB 582).
Representative Matt Caldwell
Led efforts to make local pension plans more transparent (SB 534/ HB 599)
Representative Steve Crisafulli
As Chair of State Affairs Committee, he ensured Florida’s scientifically-based water standards would protect Florida’s waterways rather than the federal EPA (SB 1808).
Representative Daniel Davis
Helped eliminate a costly and cumbersome international driver’s license (HB 7059).
Representative Matt Gaetz
Led medical liability reform efforts (HB 827/ SB 1792).
Representative Matt Hudson
Led the charge to reduce workers’ compensation costs (HB 605/SB 662).
Representative MaryLynn Magar
Helped lead efforts to eliminate the manufacturing sales tax (HB 7007).
Representative Larry Metz
Fought tirelessly in support of four legal reform efforts, and successfully eliminated junk science in the courtroom (HB 7015/SB 1412).
Representative Kathleen Passidomo
Led efforts to expedite the foreclosure process and protect consumers, and championed important legal reform legislation (HB 87).
Representative Jimmy Patronis
Championed environmental regulation improvements (SB 1684/HB 999).
Representative Cary Pigman
Championed efforts to reduce Medicaid fraud (SB 844/ HB 939).
Representative Steve Precourt
Led the charge to protect small businesses and jobs from union mandates (HB 655).
Representative Jake Raburn
Led the charge to enact Florida’s water standards (SB 1808/HB 7115).
Representative Lake Ray
Helped expand the use of natural gas in Florida vehicles and simplified transportation concurrency laws (HB 319 & HB 579).
Representative David Santiago
Led efforts to increase high-skill, high-wage job creation in the space and defense industries (HB 4013).
Representative John Wood
Helped return Citizens Property Insurance back to the insurer of last resort (HB 835/SB 1770).
Representative Dana Young
Led efforts to strengthen alternative water supplies (SB 364/HB 109).
House Speaker Will Weatherford
Was a champion of free enterprise. He supported education reform and legal reform, reducing the expansion of gambling, increasing international business, and fought tirelessly to reform an unsustainable government pension system.
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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.