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Supporters Praise, Opponents Vow to Fight New FL Law Barring Local Sick-Time Rules

June 17, 2013 | WMFE - Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a measure that prohibits counties and cities from passing local earned sick-time ordinances, keeping that authority at the state level. The so-called "pre-emption" bill was taken to Tallahassee by Orange County-based lawmakers. Opponents say they'll continue to fight the law.

[Image: Florida Capitol Complex in Tallahassee. Photo courtesy of Florida Department of Management Services]

Many of the bill’s supporters say keeping track of employee sick-leave rules that change at the county line would be expensive, confusing, and a job killer.

“A statewide standard will help make Florida more competitive because it’s going to prevent a patchwork of unpredictable and differing mandatory leave requirements,” says Edie Ousley with the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

But opponents of the bill, like Stephanie Porta from the group Organize Now, says the pre-emption law’s statewide standard is an infringement on local rights.

“Every single city and county has different laws, all across the state of Florida,” says Porta. “Home rule and communities taking initiative on local issues is part of what makes Florida great.”

Organize Now was part of a coalition that gathered 50,000 signatures to get a sick-time initiative on the 2012 Orange County ballot. County commissioners ultimately bumped it to 2014. Porta says her group could still take legal action against the new law, which is scheduled to take effect July 1st.


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