AIF: 2012 Legislature Most Business Friendly since 2008

By: Jim Turner | Posted: April 12, 2012 3:55 AM
Tom Feeney

Tom Feeney, Associated Industries of Florida

Associated Industries of Florida has graded the Republican-dominated 2012 Legislature as the most friendly to business since 2008.

The business lobbying organization gave the GOP members an average score of 89 in the House and 85 in the Senate, based on more than 13,200 votes cast on 114 business-related bills.

“This year, the Legislature took significant steps toward adopting an agenda that will re-establish Florida as a job-creating and economic-growth machine. However, some critical issues that require courage and leadership, such as tort reform, workers’ comp and property insurance reform, remain on the table,” AIF President and CEO Tom Feeney stated in a release.

AIF tracked bills related to tax, employment, regulatory and economic development issues.

View the entire report here.

“Our success in these areas this session is reflected in the records reported today,” Feeney stated. “By the same token, legislators’ votes on some of the more controversial bills, such as PIP reform, and important bills that did not pass, including the parent trigger bill and property insurance reform, had a significant impact on individual lawmakers’ records.”

Besides the expected high Republican marks, more Democrats were favoring business-backed bills, as AIF noted that the gap between Democrats' and GOP voting records has decreased on pro-business items.


Senate Republicans voted at a 91 percent clip pro-business, while Senate Democrats’ record was 73 percent.

Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, voted in favor of Florida businesses 99 percent of the time and cast only one vote against AIF’s priority issues.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, both scored a 98 percent voting record.

Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, had a 97 percent voting record and Sens. Don Gaetz, R-Destin, John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, and Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, each had 96 percent.

Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, ranked highest among Democratic senators with an 82 percent voting record.

In the House, Republicans had an average of 96 percent pro-business voting, with 14 members scoring 100. Democrats came in at an average of 70 percent.

Those in the “AIF 100 Percent Club:” are: Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach; Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton; Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring; Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater; Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee; Rep. Marlene O'Toole, R-Lady Lake; Rep. Bill Proctor, R-St. Augustine; Rep. Lake Ray, R-Jacksonville; Rep. Ronald "Doc" Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach; Rep. Ken Roberson, R-Port Charlotte; Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland; Rep. John Tobia, R-Melbourne; Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven; and Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa.

The top scoring Democrat in the House was Rep. Leonard Bembry, D-Madison, at 88 percent.

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (1)

10:31PM APR 12TH 2012
What the legislature did was throw the legal workers under the bus in favor of the illegal alien workers employed by the criminal illegal alien employers belonging to the AIF.......Leaving Floridian taxpayers to pick up the nearly $5.5Billion cost to educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal aliens.......

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