“FLORIDA’S DEMOCRACY IS UNDER SIEGE! DARKNESS CONTINUES TO
SPREAD OVER FLORIDA’S GOVERNMENT! OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SILENCED IN THE NAME OF
The terror continues in this week’s Legislative Update: The Destruction of Democracy. Tune in to find out the whole story on what’s happening in the State Capitol and how working Floridians are fighting back!”
Last year, the Florida Legislature resumed a fifteen-year push by the big business lobby to shut down the Citizens’ Initiative process for amending the state Constitution.
Between 2004 and 2008, over 100 bills were filed to place legal barriers in place to block initiatives from getting to the ballot. The time to collect signatures was reduced, the lifespan for the validity of signatures was cut in half, bans were put in place to keep people from collecting signatures in private/public spaces such as shopping centers and more.
Last year, a massive package was passed that made it even more difficult for THE PEOPLE to amend the Constitution and these bills are designed to finish the job. This attack has been slow going, methodical and largely off the radar and the people won’t know about it because it was never submitted for a vote, rather it has been death from a thousand little paper cuts.
Some of the proposals in these bills include:
• Raising the cost of signature verification from $0.10 to the full cost of the verification by the Supervisors of Elections. This will drive up the costs 10-fold.
• Currently, the Supreme Court reviews any initiative for constitutionality when backers have 10% of the total signatures. People don’t generally contribute to the campaign until this review is completed. This bill would raise the threshold for review to 50%, killing the prospects for most initiatives.
• Once again, they will shorten the “life-span” of a signature, cutting the time before the signature expires and must be eliminated from the count. This is another big business sneak attack and if these bills pass, the initiatives on the ballot this year could be the final ones proposed by the people. The Florida Legislature, of course, will still be able to put anything on the ballot they would like.
• House Bill 7093 and Senate Bill 7062 bog down the process in a more covert way, they would force groups to obtain signatures from every corner of the state before approval, drastically increasing the cost of operations for those seeking to put an amendment on the ballot.
These bills continue a project cooked up over a decade ago: make the initiative process so costly that only Big Business will be able to participate and concentrate even more power into the hands of the Florida Legislature.
Call Your Representative and Senator, let them know that we won’t stand for these attacks on our voice in Florida’s Democracy!
Floridians’ right to organize: under siege! Our say in local governments: consumed by big money! Citizens’ voice in our democracy: stifled by the terror of Tallahassee.
Week five of the 2020 Legislative Session saw the thrills, chills and terror continue from the State Capitol here in Tallahassee. Get the full picture with the newest episode of the Florida AFL-CIO’s Legislative Update: Razing Our Rights!
An out-of-state billionaire funded think tank has cooked up a new scheme to attack the unions representing our teachers, state and municipal workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other public sector workers. The bill is similar to policies that have been enacted in Alaska (although currently being blocked by a court order) to change the ways in which union members can keep their membership.
HB 1 will make it far more difficult for all public sector workers to exercise their constitutional right to stay in their union!
· HB 1 would require dues authorizations to be renewed every three years or upon authorization of a new contract, meaning the union would have to chase down re-authorization forms from members who have no intention of leaving the union.
· After the employer receives a signed dues authorization, deductions would not start until the employer goes on to “confirm with the employee, electronically or by other means, that he or she authorized the deduction of dues and uniform assessments.” This puts the employer in charge of the dues authorization process for the first time in history. Our public sector workers will have an indeterminate period of confusion and fear as they wait for their employer to verify their membership. There is no time frame or penalty for employers in the bill.
Public sector workers understand their Right to Work. This language is intended to tip the scales against membership.
· HB 1 is unnecessary. Florida’s workers NEVER have to join their union. It is their choice and they can cancel their membership at any time.
· HB 1 places a burden on workers who want to be a member in their union. It forces them to reauthorize every three years or upon authorization of a new contract, even though they can already quit at any time.
· HB 1 will create chaos. There are no time limits or other requirements for the employer to confirm the membership authorizations. They can simply ignore the requests for long periods of time.
HB 1 is the product of wealthy out-of-state special interests. The bill does not address any problems in Florida and does nothing to improve the situation for our public sector employees.
Call your Representative and let them know that you stand against this legislation.
The lethal leviathan that is the Florida Legislature continues it’s campaign of destruction throughout the Sunshine State!
Efforts to further hide the machinations of our State government from the people! The colossus of Tallahassee continued to consume any and all power our local governments have! Direct democracy inches closer to death as big money continues it’s all out assault on the people of Florida!
All this and more in this newest episode of the Florida AFL-CIO’s Legislative Update: Horrors in the Halls of Power!
the first committee weeks, through sine die, the end of every Legislative
Session, Working Families Lobby Corps activists represent Florida’s working
people at the Capitol. Those same activists leave the Capitol empowered to take
the fight home, spreading the word about how “politics as usual” really works
in Tallahassee, and galvanizing their Sisters and Brothers to join the fight.
year, the union members and citizen activists of the Working Families Lobby
Corps will be in Tallahassee once again – every day – to make sure ALL working
people in the state are represented fairly. We will continue to be there every
day to speak out in favor of workers and WILL be heard.