The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce serves as an advocate for St. Johns County businesses. Our staff helps to directly connect its members with state lawmakers and state agencies and to provide information to members about legislative and regulatory changes which could impact their businesses.
Each year, the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors reviews and approves an advocacy platform which guides our business advocacy efforts at the state level. Due to the frequency of changes in bill language and the frequency of amendments during the Legislative session, we have elected not to reference individual bill numbers in our annual advocacy agenda and instead describe general issues and positions.
2013 State Advocacy Agenda
•Enhance the level of partnership between the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce and state elected officials and staff.
•Strengthen the partnership with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and other state advocacy partners to advance economic development in St. Johns County.
•Generally support measures that restrict the growth of public spending, when such measure is done in a clearly understandable and effective manner.
•Support the recommendations of the Florida Targeted Industries Competitiveness Report.
•Monitor and support continued reductions in the corporate income tax.
•Monitor and support legislative initiatives aimed at reducing the regulatory barriers impacting new business start-ups.
•Monitor and support prioritization of Economic Development programs and initiatives aimed at helping existing businesses expand and to attract new businesses to Florida.
•Monitor and support initiatives aimed at streamlining Florida’s regulatory environment.
•Monitor and support ongoing efforts to reform Florida’s land development codes to allow Florida property owners and businesses to maximize business expansion and land development opportunities.
•Support legislation related to the protection of intellectual property rights and Florida’s ability to recruit and retain knowledge-based businesses.
•Support economic development legislation aimed at improving transportation infrastructure and freight mobility.
•Support meaningful legal reform efforts that enhance the competitiveness of Florida’s business environment. While maintaining adequate protection for its citizens, the State needs to consider reforming Florida’s legal climate. Reforms to consider should include, among others, tort liability, workers compensation, PIP and the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
Transportation & Infrastructure
•Support State funding for St. Johns County-based transportation and infrastructure projects, specifically including 9B and associated intersection improvements, SR 313 (including consideration of a northern extension of SR 313) and development of the regional outer beltway.
•Support funding for ongoing maintenance and repair of St. Johns County’s state roads and infrastructure.
•Monitor and support prioritization and allocation of funds to support “Visit Florida” and promotion of Florida’s tourism industries.
•Monitor and support state funding for the 450th Anniversary of the Founding of St. Augustine programs and marketing.
•Monitor and support St. Johns County-based grant applications relative to capital investments in historic preservation.
•Monitor and support legislative initiatives aimed at aiding the profitability and expansion of manufacturers in Florida.
•Monitor and support legislative initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of purchasing equipment used in manufacturing.
•Support state legislative efforts to address impacts of federal EPA policy making which unfairly target Florida property owners (i.e. federal mandates regarding nutrient criteria standards)
•Support legislative efforts to enhance the level of partnership between our state agricultural sector and K-12 school meal providers.
•Support the funding of Workforce Education & Training programs which would serve St. Johns County citizens and businesses.
•Support the development and use of a formula in the distribution of state PECO dollars that takes into consideration the needs of growing districts.
•Support state measures which seek to address the unfunded mandates which require local, private hospitals to provide full emergency room access and services to the uninsured and underinsured without appropriate compensation/reimbursement for services rendered.
•Support legal reform legislation aimed at reducing the cost of medical care and medical insurance premiums.