Welcome to the New Website for Asscociated Industries of Florida...The Voice of Florida Business!

AIF Applauds House Passage of Legislation That Improves Long-Range Planning

April 28, 2010

TALLAHASSEE – Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) applauds the Florida House of Representatives’ passage of SB 1178, which will modernize the process of evaluating the fiscal impact of proposed legislation and enable lawmakers to consider potential revenue enhancements, as well as costs to the state, when setting policy. The Florida Senate, led by Sen. Mike Haridopolos (R-Melbourne) passed this measure earlier in the 2010 Legislative Session.

“Families and businesses use a cost-benefit analysis when making their every day and long-term budget decisions. Floridians should be able to trust that their government uses the same common sense approach when spending taxpayer money in Tallahassee,” said Sen. Haridopolos.

If signed into law, this bill directs the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR), working in conjunction with representatives of the consensus estimating conferences, to develop Florida-specific economic analysis methods that provide a more comprehensive picture of the economic and fiscal impacts of legislation. Under the provisions of SB 1178, these analyses of proposed legislation can be requested by either the Senate President or Speaker of the House.

“Plain and simple, SB 1178 will create jobs. This bill will better equip us to identify innovative and creative ideas for stimulating our economy through job creation. As a lawmaker and businessman I can think of no better piece of public policy for the future of Florida,” said Rep. Ralph Poppell (R-Vero Beach), the sponsor of HB 121, which was the foundation for the Senate Bill passed today.

Methods of analysis may include techniques frequently used by businesses, such as cost-benefit analysis, return on investment and dynamic scoring, a process that accounts for future changes in taxpayer behavior. Dynamic scoring analyzes proposed legislation in such as way that the full potential for its impact on the economy, including potential revenue gains or enhancements, are forecasted for legislators and legislative staff.

“In these tough economic times, taxpayers need to know that their money is being used as effectively as possible. This bill will allow that to happen, and it will help to ensure legislators are giving taxpayers the most bang for their buck,” said Rep. Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island), who also sponsored the original House bill.

Currently, legislative staff and state economic estimators focus on the immediate, short-term effects of proposed legislation and the budget impact for the upcoming fiscal year. By looking beyond the ramifications on the next budget cycle, legislators will be better equipped to engage in long-range planning that will shape Florida’s next economy.

“Right now, we’re limited by worst case scenarios when evaluating the effects tax incentives and economic development incentives may have on the budget. AIF has consistently advocated for providing legislators with analysis demonstrating the potential positive impact these policies may have on the state’s budget and was the first business group to support this issue,” said Barney Bishop III, President & CEO of AIF. “We appreciate the work of House sponsors Rep. Poppell, Rep. Crisafulli and Rep. Hudson, along with Senate sponsor Sen. Haridopolos, to ensure lawmakers have complete information when making decisions that will have long-term impacts on Florida’s economy.”