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May 14, 2009

TALLAHASSEE – Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) today announced the 2009 Champions for Business awards recognizing lawmakers who have proven to be strong and forceful advocates for the state’s business community. Champions for Business are chosen for their support of meaningful and often controversial pro-business legislation. In its sixth year, the Champions for Business awards were created to acknowledge the efforts of lawmakers who sponsored and defended critical business bills, as well as those who worked behind-the-scenes on legislation critical to the prosperity of Florida businesses.

“The state’s dour financial position opened the door for more anti-business proposals than we’ve
seen in years. And, in a year teeming with attempts to levy more taxes on employers and place mandates on business that would hurt employees, these accolades are richly deserved,” said Barney Bishop III, President and CEO of AIF. “This year’s Champions for Business accepted some difficult challenges with courage and strength of conviction. Without their bold leadership, businesses would be facing higher taxes, higher insurance premiums and more regulation. AIF is pleased to honor these public servants who have demonstrated a determination to improve Florida’s business climate.”

Recipients of this year’s awards successfully advocated for measures that will jumpstart Florida’s economy, preserve critical workers’ compensation reforms, stabilize the state’s unemployment compensation fund and provide meaningful property tax reform.

View the 2009 award winners.

The 2009 Champions for Business awards were released on the heels of AIF’s annual Voting Records Report made available earlier this week. AIF tracked more than 10,000 votes cast on nearly 120 business-related bills and amendments. Members’ votes, which include committee and floor votes, are used to generate a percentage ranking of votes made in favor of pro-business legislation.