Sick Leave Preemption Bill Draws Statewide Protests

Apr 16, 2013

Central Florida activists are protesting against legislation to stop municipalities from regulating wages and benefits.

About two-dozen activists gathered Tuesday at Orlando city hall to say the legislation not only stifles a local effort to mandate paid sick time. They say it also erodes municipal authority.

The measure is sponsored by Representative Steve Precourt and Senator David Simmons, both Central Florida Republicans.

Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph said the legislation favors big business and special interests over local leaders and low-income workers.

 "Big business, most of them out-of-state, incorporated in Delaware, so you might as well call it the Delaware Chamber of Commerce, is coming into Florida trying to stop our citizens from deciding what kind of community they want to live in," he said.

The demonstration included elected leaders like Eatonville Councilman Alvin Moore. Some hoisted signs with slogans like, "Stop the Tallahassee Power Grab."

Similar protests were held statewide against the legislation. Advocates of mandatory paid sick time gathered 50,000 signatures in Orange County to put the issue on last year's ballot, but  County commissioners voted to postpone it.