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Florida and Louisiana Lawmakers Seek to Make Disabled Veterans Education Law a National Model

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Florida State Representative Daisy Morales (D-48) and Louisiana State Representative Beau Beaullieu (R-48) met virtually to discuss the Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans Bill. Photos: Florida House of Representatives and Louisiana House of Representatives, respectively.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Today, Representative Daisy Morales (D-Orlando) met virtually with Louisiana State Representative Beau Beaullieu (R-48) and staffers to discuss making HB 45 – Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans, a bill State Rep. Morales passed during the 2022 Legislative Session which Governor DeSantis signed into law, legislation in Louisiana and talked of a national model for disabled veterans on the state level.

The bill provides an education benefit to certain disabled veterans who qualify as residents to attend a state university, Florida College System institution, career center operated by a school district, or charter technical career center, but who do not qualify for the 100% eligibility tier federally, waiving the remaining tuition and fees from the institution attended.

Representative Daisy Morales had this to say, “It’s great to work as partners to help disabled veterans who have scarified so much for our country with educational opportunities to eliminate challenges they face when they have given so much for our country and allow them to support their families. My office will work closely with other State Legislators looking to pass legislation for educational tuition assistance. We love our veterans in the State of Florida!”

“Florida’s HB 45 of the 2022 legislative session could serve as a national model to provide educational opportunities to our disabled veterans and provide an avenue for their future success,” said Louisiana State Representative Beau Beaullieu.

“I’m excited that other states have already taken notice of this law,” Rep. Morales told FNN News. “It may very well become the model used throughout the nation to help our disabled veterans.”

State Representative Christopher Benjamin (D-Miami-Dade) worked alongside Rep. Morales to move HB 45 through committee to the House floor where it passed. The law went into effect July 1, 2022.

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Florida Chamber of Commerce Unveils 2024 Legislative Report Card and Distinguished Advocate Award Recipients

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Today, the Florida Chamber of Commerce unveiled its 2024 Legislative Report Card, showcasing grades earned by all 160 legislators in the Florida House and Senate based on their votes during the 2024 Legislative Session, and also awarded 15 Legislators the 2024 Distinguished Advocate Award.

“Florida currently has a $1.62 trillion economy and is continuing to grow and diversify,” said Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wilson. “I want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, Speaker Paul Renner and the pro-jobs legislators who continued to put Florida’s business climate first by prioritizing the growth of private sector jobs and diversifying our economy.”

DISTINGUISHED ADVOCATE AWARD:

The Florida Chamber Distinguished Advocate Award recognizes lawmakers who ensured consideration of the business community’s legislative priorities and fought tirelessly for the passage of a Chamber-backed policy or a priority piece of pro-jobs legislation.

2024 Distinguished Advocate Award Recipients:

House Speaker Paul Renner
Representative Jennifer Canady
Representative Tiffany Esposito
Representative Sam Garrison
Representative Mike Giallombardo
Representative Jason Shoaf
Representative John Temple
Representative Dana Trabulsy
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo
Senator Jim Boyd
Senator Colleen Burton
Senator Nick DiCeglie
Senator Erin Grall
Senator Jay Trumbull
Senator Clay Yarborough

For a full description of the leadership each legislator exhibited to earn the Distinguished Advocate Award, click here.

REPORT CARD:

The Florida Chamber’s 2024 Legislative Report Card is an annual opportunity to recognize members of the Florida Legislature who placed making Florida more competitive through their support for free enterprise over special interests and attempts to protect the status quo. The Report Card also lets Florida families, local businesses, taxpayers and voters know who voted in favor of private sector job creation and a stronger, more diversified economy.

After tabulating more than 5,700 votes cast during the 2024 Legislative Session, the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card shows:

  • Average GPA for both legislative chambers was 87 percent
  • Average Senate GPA was 89 percent
  • Average House GPA was 86 percent

Lawmakers who earned high grades this legislative session focused on important competitiveness issues such as those outlined in our end-of-session recap, which can be found here.

GRADES ARE EARNED USING A TRANSPARENT GRADING PROCESS:

  • The Florida Chamber’s legislative grading process is both transparent and accountable.
  • The Florida Business Agenda (FBA) was announced in concert with the opening of the 2024 Legislative Session.
  • The Florida Business Agenda, outlined in the Chamber’s annual Where We Stand publication was delivered to each member of the Florida Legislature in advance of voting.
  • Florida Chamber leadership raised awareness of the legislative agenda through meetings with numerous media, legislators and staff in advance of session, during the interim committee weeks, and over the nine-week legislative session.
  • Most importantly, prior to each vote graded on the Report Card, a “Your Vote Matters” letter outlining the pro-business position and the Florida Chamber’s intent to score the vote was transmitted to voting members of the legislature.

To see the grades received by each of Florida’s 160 Legislators following the 2024 Legislative Session, visit https://reportcard.flchamber.com/.

The Florida Chamber will soon release its annual How They Voted publication, which in addition to legislator grades and awards, will include a full recap of what passed, what was defeated, and what remains unfinished business following the 2024 Legislative Session.

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Florida Chamber of Commerce Endorses U.S. Senator Rick Scott for Reelection

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Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wilson stood with former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Rick Scott yesterday in Tampa at a local manufacturing facility to announce the rollout of the “Small Business for Rick Scott” coalition and formally announce the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of his reelection to the U.S. Senate.

In addition to providing remarks at the press conference, Mark Wilson released the following quote in support of Senator Rick Scott, who signed all 138 Chamber-backed bills sent to his desk during his tenure as Governor:

“No one fights harder for jobs than Senator Rick Scott, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is proud to endorse his reelection. Senator Scott was Florida’s jobs governor, and we were proud to work with him every year to reduce unfair taxes, excessive litigation and nonsensical regulations which helped lead to the incredible economic growth we see in Florida today. As Senator, he’s continued to focus on reining in wasteful spending and getting government out of the way so local businesses can thrive. We look forward to him continuing to serve as Florida’s voice for jobs and a strong economy in Washington!”

Senator Rick Scott thanked Mark Wilson and the business community for their support noting that “the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the best Chamber of Commerce in the country. You talk to people all across the country and there is no Chamber like the Florida Chamber.”

In the Florida Chamber’s recent statewide voter poll, Rick Scott is leading his reelection opponent 54-39 and is up 36 points with Hispanic voters. Video of the full press conference can be found here and you can learn more about the “Small Business for Rick Scott” coalition here.

In addition to Senator Rick Scott’s reelection, the Presidency, the entire Florida Congressional Delegation, all 120 State House seats, half of the Florida Senate seats, 2,637 local offices and half a dozen proposed constitutional amendments are on the 2024 ballot. The Florida Chamber leads the business community’s efforts to recruit and elect better candidates through the Florida Free Enterprise Fund, Florida Chamber Political Institute, and the Florida Institute for Political Leadership. For more information about these initiatives, contact the Florida Chamber’s Executive Vice President of Government & Political Relations Frank Walker at fwalker@flchamber.com.

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Split Screen: Biden’s Delivering Jobs vs. Trump’s Broken Promises

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Today in battleground Wisconsin, beyond vibes and pundit speak, voters get to see the clear split screen between President Biden’s record of accomplishment and Donald Trump’s broken promises.

Hell, even our friends at Fox and Friends agree.

President Biden is announcing that Microsoft is making a multi-billion dollar investment in Racine, Wisconsin, that is expected to create thousands of jobs.

For those keeping track, President Biden is delivering JOBS across the Blue Wall:

In Wisconsin, nearly 200,000 new jobs. In Pennsylvania, 500,000 new jobs. In Michigan, 350,000 new jobs.

Donald Trump’s record of broken promises is clear across the country:

Trump’s Broken Promise to Wisconsin: Trump promised $10 billion in investment and up to 13,000 new jobs at the Foxconn plant, calling it the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and the embodiment of the MAGA agenda.

Trump’s Broken Promise to Michigan: Trump promised Michigan “won’t lose one plant” and a “complete revitalization of the Michigan manufacturing sector.”

Trump’s Broken Promise to Pennsylvania: Trump promised, “your jobs will come back under a Trump administration” and “we’re going to bring back our manufacturing.”

Trump’s Broken Promise to Ohio: Trump promised “those jobs have left Ohio. They’re all coming back” and “jobs will return … and new factories will come rushing onto our shores.” Trump boasted he would save the Lordstown plant.

Trump’s Broken Promise to Indiana: Trump promised to keep the Carrier plant and jobs in the U.S.

Biden-Harris 2024 spokesperson James Singer released the following statement:

“The choice in this election is clear: Joe Biden is delivering jobs, while all Donald Trump delivered as president was broken promises.

“Joe Biden knows a job is a lot more than a paycheck – it’s about dignity. It’s why he’s spent every day working to bring our country back from the economic abyss Donald Trump left us in.

“Americans will go to the polls this November knowing that Joe Biden is a man of his word who has delivered 15 million new jobs, and that Donald Trump is a fraud who over-promised, under-delivered, and sold America out.”

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