From the Captain’s Chair: Advocacy in Action September 26, 2016
Congratulations to all those who were elected or re-elected on Primary Election Day in August, when a number of candidates were determined as winners of our legislative and county races. MIASF looks forward to continually engaging with our local, state, and federal elected officials and regulators on issues of importance to our industry.
We are pleased to be working with Congresswoman Lois Frankel on an effort to modify federal law regarding the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which, combined with the proposed 19.6 % increase in Florida’s Workers’ Compensation rates, disproportionately and negatively impacts marine industry businesses. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation must decide whether or not to approve the increase slated to take effect on October 1, and a denial will likely force a resolution to be offered during the 2017 Legislative Session beginning in March. We will continue to monitor the progress of this issue and report on its status.
The Foreign Trade Zone application was submitted and is currently under review by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in Port Everglades. Additionally, in partnering with FYBA we have facilitated meetings with the leadership of the CBP to discuss some of the challenges facing visiting vessels, such as when to issue a cruising license versus a notice to proceed, and when to interpret whether vessels have entered commerce. We are collectively working toward solutions that will allow CBP to continue to keep our borders safe in ways that do not impede or deter economic opportunities.
At MIASF we persist in creating a sense of community among our members by supporting efforts that align with our core values. We are proud to have offered eight of our members the opportunity to sponsor and participate in building a home through Habitat for Humanity of Broward. We are excited that we have parlayed that relationship into a partnership with United Way’s MISSION UNITED, and established a goal to build a Broward Habitat home for a local veteran family.
We held our 3rd Annual Night at the Ballpark with the Miami Marlins last month, the proceeds of which benefited Marine Industry Cares Foundation, and we were honored to have helped highlight the talents of a special young woman we met through our involvement in HANDY, and who was invited to sing the National Anthem at the opening of the game.