NFIB/Florida 2018 Session Report

Date: March 11, 2018

2018 NFIB/Florida Legislative Issues and Priorities – Final Report

NFIB/Florida earned some big legislative victories during the 2018 session, including:

Direct Primary Care (Support) PASSED 

Allows for business owners to contract directly with primary care doctors and pay a manageable monthly membership fee for primary care services for themselves and their employees, saving business owners on costly traditional health insurance plans and renewing the focus on the doctor-patient relationship. This will help small business owners connect their employees and their families with quality primary care services.

Cutting the Business Rent Tax (Support) PASSED 

Cuts the business rent tax by .1 percent, reducing the tax rate on commercial leases to 5.7 percent; an overall savings of $30 million for small business owners across Florida. This tax cut represents another step toward permanently eliminating the tax for small business owners.

Supermajority to Raise Taxes and Fees (Support) PASSED 

Places on the 2018 ballot an amendment that would require a 2/3 vote of the Florida legislature to raise taxes and fees. Small business owners overwhelmingly support this proposal, because when small business owners get to keep more of their hard-earned money, they reinvest in the economy, grow their businesses and create jobs.

Notification of Changes in Business Filings (Support) PASSED 

Requires the Division of Corporations to notify business owners if any changes are made to their articles of incorporation, bolstering protections for small business owners against business identity theft.

Taxpayer Advocate Reforms (Support) PASSED 

Provides more independence for the Taxpayer Advocate, within the Florida Department of Revenue, by altering their reporting structure and how they’re appointed, allowing them to cut through red tape and better represent the taxpayer.

Prejudgment Interest (Oppose) DEFEATED 

Legislation to allow interest to be charged on damages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs from the date an injury or tort occurred, not from the date damages are awarded, which would drive up litigation costs and force businesses to settle frivolous lawsuits, was defeated.

Prohibiting Employers from Inquiring about an Applicant’s Criminal History (Oppose) DEFEATED 

Legislation to shield an applicant’s violent criminal history from a prospective employer prior to a face-to-face interview was defeated.

Mandatory Paid Family Leave (Oppose) DEFEATED 

Legislation to require small businesses to provide paid family leave was defeated.

Increasing the Minimum Wage (Oppose) DEFEATED 

Legislation to increase the minimum wage was defeated.

Other small business priorities that came close but didn’t prevail:

Stabilizing the Workers’ Comp System (Support) FAILED

Last year, NFIB, in the face of a 14 percent rate hike, pushed legislation to cap workers’ compensation attorneys’ fees. This year, our hopes for legislation fizzled when rates went down 9 percent.

Eliminating Certificate of Need (Support) FAILED

The Certificate of Need (CON) program is a burdensome regulatory process that requires certain healthcare providers to obtain state approval before offering new or expanded services. Legislation to repeal the CON requirements failed.

Accuracy in Medical Damages (Support) FAILED

Legislation that would have allowed juries to see medical expenses actually paid by plaintiffs and their insurers when awarding compensation in medical damages cases failed.

Bad Faith Reform (Support) FAILED 

Legislation to prevent the practice of suing for “bad faith” where the intent of the plaintiff’s attorney is to game the system and gain awards in excess of a policy’s stated limits failed.

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