House Democrats announce opposition to four legislative proposals, including E-Verify and union regulations
House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee

State Rep. Kionne McGhee
Caucus also opposes restrictions on citizen initiatives.

House Democrats on Wednesday announced opposition to four bills expected to be heard on the floor before Session ends.

“All of these bills are detrimental to the people of Florida,” said House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee.

“Each one takes opportunity and voice away from Florida’s people. We will always stand against such legislation. I am incredibly proud of this caucus. We are united in opposition to these bad bills and in solidarity with working Floridians.”

The bills — HB 7037 and HB 7093 — cover a range of issues from immigration to union rights. But they also represent significant priorities for Republican leadership in and outside the chamber.

Rep. Cord Byrd’s HB 1265 would require Florida employers to use the E-Verify database to confirm employment eligibility for workers.

The issue has challenged House leadership but remains a priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis. Amid negotiation between the House and Senate, the bill is slated for special order on the House floor Friday.

Rep. James Grant’s HB1 has been labeled by labor advocates as a union buster. It would limit the ability to require employees of a company to pay union dues.

A version of that bill passed in the House 63-52 Wednesday, but a Senate companion (SB 804) hasn’t been heard in committee.

Notably, Howey-in-the-Hills Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini touted both bills in a legislative update with the state executive committee for the Republican Party of Florida on Tuesday evening.

“Things are looking really good and we have exciting bills every day,” Sabatini said.

On E-Verify, which Sabatini has co-sponsored, he expressed hope the House would, in fact, move its bill closer to the more conservative Senate version.

The Republican Party of Florida passed a rare resolution in favor of that piece of legislation.

Another Grant bill, HB 7037, would restrict the citizen initiative process to amend the state constitution by limiting the amount of time signatures could be collected.

The final bill, Rep. Bob Rommel’s HB 7093, also impacts the petition process by requiring signatures to come from all congressional districts, rather than just half.

Both those bills have already drawn heavy criticism from advocacy groups and Democratic leaders.

Grant’s bill is scheduled for special order on Thursday, while Rommel’s is on the calendar for Friday.

All four pieces of legislation have united the Democratic caucus in opposition, McGhee said. This is the first time the caucus has taken four caucus positions in opposition to bills currently under consideration in the House.

That’s all the more notable considering issues like parental consent rules on abortion exposed bitter divides in the caucus earlier this Session.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Pghboy

    March 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Again I would love to see what unions are against e verify. I’m sure the building trades wound welcome it. It’s just the janitorial unions that are against it . The bill is not anti latino. The bill is just saying to work here you need to be here legally. Is that asking too much? It’s stops exploiting workers in the name of profits. The Gov of Florida has this correct . If the republican majority says no to this then they really are hypocrites when it comes to immigration. Pass it now!

  • Michael O'Rourke

    March 6, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Representative Jamie Grant always seems to be on the wrong side of the people. Here he is again, trying to break unions and trying to end citizens’ ability to petition for constitutional reform. He is also a champion of the internet corporate world and supports preempting local ordinances in favor of the short term rental industry. He also has sponsored a bill that will create a class action process through a rewrite of the Bert Harris Act, preventing the actual settlement of cases, which was the original intent of the Bert Harris Act.

    Representative Grant has waged a war against Florida municipalities. He thinks he can legislate our communities from Tallahassee better than we can through our local governments.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704