2018 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY STATEMENT STATE ISSUES AGRICULTURE/WATER Support a healthy, competitive and stable insurance market while reducing fraud that drives up rates. Support Florida's water future by supporting infrastructure investments and science based solutions that allow our state to grow while protecting our most precious natural resources. Support targeted training and expanded access to key health education programs that will help serve Florida’s rapidly growing population. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TOURISM TAXATION Support an appropriate level of funding for Enterprise Florida's toolkit to attract and retain high-skill, high-wage jobs and investment to our state. The Chamber supports a reduction in the state's Business Rent Tax, with the ultimate goal being a complete phase out. Support an appropriate level of funding for Visit Florida to further its work in establishing Florida as the No. 1 travel destination in the world by strengthening Florida's share of the global travel market. Support legislation to improve municipalities' use of Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) that will allow them to continue their focus on strategic improvements within the community. Support continued funding for programs that promote and expand exposure to arts & culture in Lakeland, Polk County and across the state. EDUCATION Continue to place a focus on STEM initiatives. Champion training and vocational programs to ensure Florida has a workforce prepared to satisfy the needs of a diversifying economy. HEALTHCARE Encourage medical education opportunities and provide training targeted towards key health education programs to serve Florida's rapidly expanding population. Create a competitive tax system that puts money back into small business and families and eliminates uncompetitive tax policies. TRANSPORTATION Support funding for Florida's transportation trust fund so that the continuation of infrastructure is available. Work with FDOT to encourage that funding is advanced at the local level for the I-4/State Rd 33 Interchange (Exit 38). Make funding of the Central Polk Parkway a priority in support of continued growth of our region. Provide funding for capacity expansion of I-4 through Polk County. WORKERS' COMPENSATION The Chamber encourages the Florida Legislature to implement reforms to address attorney's fees in order to keep Workers' Comp rates in Florida affordable for job creators, help keep the Workers' Comp system functioning, and protect employers and employees from additional, unreasonable rate increases.