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Organized labor advocate believes compromise is possible despite GOP supermajority in the Florida Legislature

Rich Templin.jpg
Tom Flanigan
Florida AFL-CIO Director of Politics and Public Policy Rich Templin speaking before Leon Progressive Democrats Jan. 10.

Even though the makeup of the Florida Legislature has undergone significant change as a result of the 2022 election, Rich Templin, the government relations chief for Florida AFL-CIO says his top legislative goal is the same as it's been in previous years.

"We are always concerned about the Florida Retirement System and its impact on, not only the community here in Talahassee, but the entire state. FRS is a pillar of the entire economy statewide."

And even though organized labor is often associated with the Democratic Party, Templin told Leon's Progressive Democrats at their January 10th meeting that he believes compromise with GOP lawmakers is possible, saying one-third of the state's unionized workers are Republicans.

"There will be some opportunities for some bipartisanship. I know people scoff at that, but it can happen. There are some great Republican leaders over there. The question is, will the governor get out of the way a little bit."

Templin said he'd be spending considerable time leading up to the session that starts March 7 meeting with newly-elected legislative members and briefing them on the concerns of the state's various employee unions.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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