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Daily Legislative Brief from January 28, 2020

Legal & Judicial

HB 305 – Relating to Preemption of Conditions of Employment

On Tuesday, January 28, HB 305 by Representative Bob Rommel (R-Naples) was heard by the House Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and was reported favorable with 10 yeas and 5 nays. AIF stood in support of this legislation.

Local governments have broad authority to legislate on any matter that is not inconsistent with federal or state law. A local government enactment may be inconsistent with state law if (1) the Legislature "has preempted a particular subject area" or (2) the local enactment conflicts with a state statute. Where state preemption applies it precludes a local government from exercising authority in that area.
The bill:

  • Expressly prohibits a county, city, district, or other public body created by state law from requiring an employer from paying a minimum wage other than the state or federal minimum wage or to offer other conditions of employment;
  • Expressly preempts to the state the right to regulate any requirements imposed upon employers relating to a minimum wage and conditions of employment;
  • Defines “conditions of employment” to include preemployment screening, job classification, job responsibilities; hours of work; scheduling and schedule changes, wages, payment of wages, leave, paid or unpaid days off for holidays, illness, vacations, and personal necessity, and employee benefits;
  • Voids any ordinance, regulation, or policy currently in existence which is now preempted.

HB 305 will now move to the House Commerce Committee.

AIF supports legislation that allows Florida businesses to adhere to state or federal wage requirements, thus eliminating onerous regulations set by municipalities.


SB 1668 – Relating to Damages

On Tuesday, January 28, SB 1668 by Senator David Simmons (R-Longwood) was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee and was reported favorable with 4 yeas and 2 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.

Florida law permits the recovery of “the reasonable value or expense of hospitalization and medical and nursing care and treatment necessarily or reasonably obtained by a claimant in the past or to be so obtained in the future.”

The bill states that, in any claim for damages of personal injury to a claimant, evidence of past, present, or future medical expenses must be based on the usual and customary charges in the community where medical expenses are incurred. This may significantly alter the current methods for proving damages, which involves presenting medical bills as evidence of past expenses and testimony of reasonably-certain needed procedures as evidence of future expenses. Notably, the amount of an award of past medical damages would be determined without consideration of evidence of the billed costs of any medical services provided for a claimant.

SB 1668 will now move to the Senate Health Policy Committee.

AIF supports legislation that creates transparency and ensures accuracy in damages, thereby reducing the cost of healthcare and increasing access to care for all Floridians.