House panel OKs elimination of local wage, heat protection rules for contractors

Camilo Martin
'This bill is very let-them-eat-cake-ish.'

Local governments wouldn’t be able to set minimum wages for their contractors and subcontractors, and couldn’t require businesses to protect their workers from heat exposure, under a bill passed by the House State Affairs Committee.

The bill (HB 433) passed on a party-line vote, with Democrats opposed. They said it takes away local control from governments, such as Miami-Dade County, that have passed minimum wage ordinances for contractors.

“This bill is very let-them-eat-cake-ish,” said Rep. Ashley Gantt, a Miami Democrat. “It’s all about profits, it’s not about people.”

Gantt added that it would likely affect 33,000 workers in Miami-Dade, potentially lowering their wages.

Bill sponsor Rep. Tiffany Esposito, a Fort Myers Republican, defended the bill by saying it would help businesses to operate more freely and disputed the contention it would lower wages for workers.

“If the employer wants high quality employees they’re going to pay appropriately,” Esposito said. “This bill protects taxpayer dollars. It’s less regulation and less government.”

For the last two decades Florida law has preempted cities and counties from setting their own minimum wage, but allowed it for city and county workers and for companies that contract with local governments. Now, GOP lawmakers are moving to remove that exemption.

Bob McKee, a lobbyist for the Florida Association of Counties, said the wage ordinances help keep workers out of poverty and the need to provide social services.

“We would rather pay them directly in wages than have them come back to us to get their health care or food from government subsidies,” McKee said.

And the heat protections are needed in Florida, he added.

“Florida is the Sunshine State and sometimes that sun shines harsh.”

Supporters of the bill said local government rules aren’t needed to treat workers right.

“We cannot farm or work without good employees and I guarantee you we do everything to do the best for our employees. And this insinuation that we need more help form local government regulating heat exposure problems, it’s insulting,” said Rep. Rick Roth, a West Palm Beach Republican.

The bill has one more committee stop before hitting the House floor, and the Senate version (SB 1492) has one more committee hearing before getting to the floor in that chamber.

Gray Rohrer


  • John Lentini

    February 14, 2024 at 2:50 pm

    The party of small government strikes again!

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

      February 15, 2024 at 7:01 am

      Good Mornting America,
      This is bill just loaded with “Sage Wisdom” which I, Earl Pitts American, am lobbying hard for passage thru “The Earl Pitts American Sage Lobbying Firm” (The Most Influntancial Lobbying Firm on The Planet).
      I can 100% gurantee the passage and Executive signoff on this bill. Mainly because it will help All Floridians, 1a.) (be they Sage Patriots – or Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s) AND 2a.) (because of my personal political sport-hobby of whizzing-off all the Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s who mindlessly are robotically opposing this Sage Bill of Great Political Wisdom).
      Thank you Florida, thank you America, thank you Lefty’s and Sage Patriots,
      Earl Pitts “Political Lobbying CEO” American

  • Michael K

    February 14, 2024 at 3:37 pm

    I would not trust state Republican legislators to act in the best interest of workers and their local communities.

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 14, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    Economy’s booming. Plenty of work elsewhere. Why stay there and suffer?

  • Dangerous florida, safe house for Hamas

    February 14, 2024 at 7:47 pm

    A Florida school has received backlash after it required parents to provide written consent allowing their children to engage with a Black author’s book. The permission form detailed an activity in which “students will participate and listen to a book written by an African American”.

    Chuck Walter, a parent at Coral Way K-8 in Miami, posted a photo of the slip on X, writing: “I had to give permission for this or else my child would not participate???” He tagged the Miami-Dade county public schools superintendent, Jose L Dotres.

  • Tom Palmer

    February 14, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    I guess we’ll see how the heat-related worker deaths turn out next summer. That metric will tell us why regulations may be prudent.

  • KathrynA

    February 15, 2024 at 10:16 am

    I wonder how the legislature would like working in direct sunlight with temps and humidity in the 90’s with no breaks? Sounds reminiscent of slavery and they wonder why they can’t get farm labor? Think how many hospitalizations will occur from heat related issues! So sad with no consideration of these people in regard to wages and heat! They are just little, disposable pawns in the minds of our legislators!

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