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February 9, 2010

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Cabinet today issued a resolution recognizing Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) for their years of service to the business industry and contributions to the state. The resolution was presented on AIF’s 90th birthday and was sponsored by Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson.

“Associated Industries of Florida has grown from a humble group of employers in Duval County to an organization that represents every segment of Florida’s private sector. For 90 years, we have walked the halls of the capitol advancing the basic economic tenet that policies that promote the prosperity of business ultimately result in the state’s overall success,” said Barney Bishop III, president and CEO of AIF. “It is an honor for our association’s dedication and hard work to be recognized today by the Cabinet.”

With the economy still sagging and the unemployment rate at a record high, the business community is supporting legislative efforts that will result in the expansion and creation of jobs. Several of AIF’s priorities for this upcoming legislative session include:

  • Enacting an immediate solution to the significant unemployment compensation tax increase businesses must pay by April.
  • Encouraging the development of commercial space activities in Florida by leveraging existing infrastructure and creating incentives to preserve aerospace jobs.
  • Championing legislation that would enable the Cabinet to consider proposals for oil and natural gas exploration and production in Florida’s territorial waters.
  • Codifying into law the 2010 Consumer Choice Act, which guarantees all Floridians the right to pick insurance coverage from any company of their choice.
  • Reducing Floridians’ financial risk and exposure through Citizens Property Insurance and the Cat Fund by increasing Citizens’ rates 10 percent and advocating for strategies that will result in Citizens becoming actuarially sound.

While AIF’s primary focus is on business issues at the state level, the association closely monitors and occasionally takes strong advocacy positions on issues under consideration by federal elected officials. Currently, AIF is opposing efforts to pass “card check” legislation that would radically alter federal labor laws, inflexible “one-size-fits-all” health care reform proposals that will hurt businesses, climate change policies that would increase the cost of energy and cut American jobs and newly established EPA regulations that impose unfair and unrealistic water quality standards on the State of Florida alone. Additionally, AIF supports federal efforts to provide states with the authority to require remote sellers to collect sales and use taxes from their customers.

Over the years, AIF has successfully advocated for and fought against a number of issues before the Florida Legislature. AIF has also been a leader and a pioneer in the business community introducing the first business association Political Action Committee, was the first business group to endorse federal candidates and the first to have a Florida lobbyist in Washington, D.C., dedicated to federal legislation that will have an impact on our state’s businesses.

“We have always been known for taking bold positions and have never shied away from representing our members’ interests on controversial issues,” added Bishop. “We have one of the finest, most sought-after lobby teams in the capital. I believe that this collective of power brokers, matched only by the passion with which we tackle the substantive issues affecting our state, is the reason why we have been effective for our members and have grown exponentially over the last few years.”

Known as “The Voice of Florida Business,” AIF has represented the principles of prosperity and free enterprise before the three branches of state government since 1920. A voluntary association of diversified businesses, AIF was created to foster an economic climate in Florida conducive to the growth, development, and welfare of industry and business and the people of the state. The association’s more than 10,000 members represent a cross-section of Florida business and industry – from small businesses to major corporations. AIF is a state affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers.

AIF Cabinet Resolution for 90 years

View Resolution