Economic development and recovery, transportation, DEI, affordable housing and workforce development top advocacy.
Orlando, Fla. – The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) approved its advocacy and public policy priorities for the 2020 – 2021 fiscal year, including a legislative agenda for the 2021 Florida legislative session that begins March 2.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to create a grave economic and health crisis, the Partnership is focused on championing measures critical to the region’s economic recovery that include fighting for economic development tools for businesses, relief for the tourism industry, improvements to transportation options, advancements in diversity, equity, and inclusion, funding for affordable housing, and investments in workforce development.
“These policy priorities, which are more important than ever before for the revitalization of our community-at-large, address much needed criminal justice reform, a push for initiatives focusing on upskilling our workforce and improving access for affordable housing.”Linda Landman Gonzalez, Orlando Magic vice president of community relations and government affairs and Partnership public policy chair
“These important policies will be top priority for the Partnership,” said Linda Landman Gonzalez, Orlando Magic vice president of community relations and government affairs and Partnership public policy chair.
Another issue businesses are facing is fear that they may not survive a COVID-19-related lawsuit after reopening, which may prevent them from doing so. Ensuring legislation is adopted and implemented to provide legal protections for businesses against liability related to COVID-19 stands as a top priority for the Partnership. The Governor along with Senate and House leadership have prioritized this policy to ensure the protections are retroactive for our business community. It is vital this legislation is inclusive of all businesses that are abiding by public health and safety requirements to keep their doors open, employees paid and customers safe.
The Partnership will also continue to champion the reinstatement of qualified target industry incentives (QTI) that serve as the foundational program for new employers seeking job growth in our region. As QTI “sunset” last year, it is vital the state reinstates this program along with other potential incentives to help revitalize the region’s currently struggling local economy. The Partnership supports Senate Bill 982 by Senator Joe Gruters (R – Sarasota) that would repeal the expiration of QTI, reestablishing the important tax refund program effective July 1, 2021.
“Historically, the QTI performance-based economic incentive program has been a key arrow in our economic development quiver, having been used to successfully recruit ADP, Wyndham Destinations headquarters and KPMG’s Lakehouse, among many others,” said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Partnership.
“Reinstating incentive programs like QTI will give us an extra boost when competing with other metros to attract companies to our region, which will, in turn, boost our economic recovery in a time when we need it the most.”Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Partnership
More details on the region’s 2021 Legislative Priorities include:
- Business Liability
- Reinstate QTI Incentive
- Create a statewide film incentive program
- Reshoring Programs
- Protection of Transportation Trust Funds
- Support for CFL transportation projects
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Policy
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Protection of Sadowski Fund
- Support for wrap-around services
- Upskilling Initiatives
- Apprenticeship Programs
- State College Funding
For more information on the 2021 policy priorities, please contact Laureen.Martinez@orlando.org or at 407-242-3982.