Lawsuit abuse reform and tax relief top NFIB’s small business agenda for this year’s session of the Florida Legislature.
NFIB State Executive Director Bill Herrle said small business wants lawmakers to rein in out-of-control lawsuits by ending one-way attorney fees and throwing out cases when the injured party’s own negligence was the biggest contributing factor of the accident. NFIB also has launched a radio and digital ad campaign supporting Senate Bill 236 and House Bill 837, legislation that supports Gov. Ron DeSantis’s plan to curb lawsuit abuse.
“Stopping lawsuit abuse in Florida is our No. 1 priority this session, but there are other issues our members are asking their legislators to address,” Herrle said. These issues include:
- TAX RELIEF. NFIB supports eliminating the business rent tax — Florida is the only state that taxes business rents — and opposes SB 182/HB 103, bills that would assume small businesses acted with “willful negligence, willful neglect, or fraud” if they inadvertently provide satisfactory documentation to the state Department of Revenue during an audit.
- LABOR. Small business supports SB 256/HB 1445, legislation that would prohibit state and local governments from collecting dues on behalf of labor unions. Small businesses also oppose SB 1598/HB 137, bills that would create a state Department of Labor to penalize employers for newly created rules and regulations dealing with employee relations.
- REGULATIONS. NFIB supports SB 302/HB3, which would prohibit state government from investing taxpayer money in investment funds based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Such investments may reduce the rate of return on public investments based on political goals, Herrle said. NFIB also supports SB 442/HB 533, right-to-repair legislation that would give farmers and independent repair shops the same access codes and manuals available to factory-authorized repair shops.
Herrle said, “Our elected leaders can’t forget that Florida’s economy depends on the economic health of its small businesses. The Florida Legislature must do everything it can to maintain an environment that enables these businesses to grow and create jobs.”