February 22, 2007
On Monday, February 19th AIF held its annual Pre-Legislative Briefing at the Governors Club in Tallahassee to discuss the top issues facing the business community for the 2007 regular session. We had 12 legislators participate, along with CFO Alex Sink (D), on different panels throughout the day-long program. Representative Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) and Senator Steve Oelrich (R-Gainesville) spoke about the importance of improving our educational system so that we have the workforce Florida needs to meet the demands of our state’s economy. The next panel addressed the property tax crisis that is currently affecting the residents and business owners of our state. Thirty minutes was not enough for the exchange of ideas between Representative Ray Sansom (R-Ft. Walton Beach), Senator Mike Haridopolos (R-Melbourne), Representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R-Miami)and Representative Dave Murzin (R-Pensacola). Each of them highlighted different aspects of the problem and some possible solutions. Next was a panel discussion on property and health insurance issues and as usual, Senator Bill Posey (R-Rockledge),Representative Ron Reagan (R-Sarasota) and CFO Alex Sink (D) did an excellent job. Then, Representative Mike Davis (R-Naples) talked about the workforce housing issue and amazed the crowd by announcing that in some parts of the state the median price of a home is $400,000! Our special luncheon speaker was Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp (R) who addressed the group on many of the Governor’s priorities for 2007. And to top off the day, we actually finished our meeting in the Senate Chambers with Senate President Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie). It is very rare to be able to go on the floor of the Senate. Years ago, lobbyists were allowed on the floor of the Senate before session began and then 5 minutes after session ended. Each of our AIF Consultants updated our members on the Senate floor on the issues they will be working on this Session. AIF would like to send a special “Thank You” to all the legislators and AIF members who attended our annual Pre-Legislative Briefing. The program could not have been the success it was without your participation.