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Happytown: State House wants to block sick-time ordinances

Florida House votes in favor of bill that would pre-empt sick time ordinances by invalidating them before they pass at local level

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The only Democrat to vote in favor of the bill was state Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Sunrise, who happens to be the niece of commissioner Edwards. Lady Edwards, who is the House sponsor of the medical marijuana bill, insisted on her Facebook page that her vote had nothing to do with her uncle.

“Nobody tells me how to vote,” she wrote after being called on the matter.

So what does it all mean for sick time in Orange County? Well, that’s unclear for now. A Senate companion doesn’t go nearly as far into the pre-emption hole, and Precourt’s bill – which would also roll back Miami-Dade county’s living-wage law and could potentially see workers have their hourly pay cut from $12.08 per hour to $7.50 per hour – is a little too far-reaching to be taken seriously. Most of the state’s counties would have to amend their business models and bidding practices in order to match the bill’s implied race to the bottom. And as sick-time proponent and Organize Now director Stephanie Porta points out, there hasn’t exactly been a groundswell of support from citizens. Most of those speaking in Tallahassee in favor of the bill during its committee stage were big business interests. Not one mom-and-pop or small businessperson, she says. So it’s onward and upward, then.

“We are going to fight,” Porta says. “We believe that people and democracy still matter more than corporations.”

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