Nick DiCeglie bill would block local governments from enacting training mandates in construction contracts

The bill would affect ordinances requiring apprenticeship programs in local bids.

Rep. Nick DiCeglie filed a bill this week that would ensure local government construction projects are transparent and competitive.

The bill (HB 53) requires local governments to utilize competitive bidding processes when contracting city, town or county projects. It blocks them from “train(ing) employees in designated programs with restricted curriculum or from a single source,” according to the bill language.

The bill would block local ordinances that require things like apprenticeship programs, a trend among some more liberal cities aimed at providing work opportunities for residents. The ordinances, like one approved in St. Petersburg, typically address workforce development for non-college careers.

Trade groups oppose those local ordinances.

While DiCeglie’s office recognizes the well-intentioned efforts of some of those ordinances, the idea is to inject free-market principles into local policymaking to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently.

“This bill ensures that local governments are using a transparent, competitive bidding process when they consider these large construction projects,” DiCeglie said. “These local governments are tasked with being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Not by playing favorites, but instead by incorporating proven procurement practices.”

“Too many times we see inefficient spending on construction projects. HB 53 dives into finding real solutions in this bidding process. While consequently helping  Floridian’s become more comfortable knowing their tax dollars are being used to their potential  in the construction of these important public projects.”

DiCeglie hopes the bill, if approved, would allow small businesses less likely to be involved in local procurement, to get a seat at the table.

Democrats in the Legislature are likely to push back against the measure. Local governments are also likely to offer pushback against it as another attack on home rule.

Recent Legislative Sessions have seen a spate of bills, some successful and some not, seeking to preempt local rulemaking. One example includes an effort to block local governments from enacting straw bans, a measure that passed the Legislature, but that Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed.

DiCeglie’s bill does not yet have a Senate companion. If approved, the bill would take effect July 1.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Jim Donelon

    December 12, 2020 at 7:34 am

    It appears the Republicans are all for LOCAL CONTROL until it knocks up against big business.

  • Shawn

    December 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Ironic that NYC was looking for the same type of ordinance for reckless contractors such as the Honorable Representative’s current partners in Solar Sanitation have with thier other business, D & D Sanitation. I can see why he would sponsor a bill such as this.

Comments are closed.


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