For Immediate Release: Friday, March 23, 2018
45 percent of sitting members and more than 50 percent of all Freshmen signed on to the measure-
(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) – The Florida Competitive Workforce Act secured the third highest number of sponsors and co-sponsors during the 2018 Legislation Session yet did not secure a single committee hearing in the House or Senate. The bill garnered 69 bipartisan sponsors and co-sponsors, representing 45 percent of sitting members, of which 57 percent were freshmen members. HB 347 was sponsored by Rep. Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg) and Rep. Rene ‘Coach P’ Plasencia (R-Titusville) in the House with Sen. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg) sponsoring SB 66 in the Senate.
The only other bills which secured a higher number of sponsors and co-sponsors include the following:
86 sponsors and co-sponsors
The legislation passed the House and Senate and is expected to be signed by the Governor.
79 sponsors and co-sponsors
The legislation was heard in the House and the Senate but did not pass
69 sponsors and co-sponsors
The legislation did not secure a single hearing in the House or the Senate.
“It is insulting to the 45 percent of Florida’s sitting House and Senate leaders who signed on to the Florida Competitive Workforce Act that this common-sense legislation was not heard before a single committee,” said Christina Johnson, spokesperson for Florida Competes. “It is extremely disappointing that our state remains at an economic disadvantage after yet another legislative session by failing to update our state’s civil rights laws to include LGBT people. We know that the nearly 60 percent of those freshmen legislators who strongly support the Florida Competitive Workforce Act will lead the next generation of elected officials and will ensure that Florida is truly open for business to all.”
While the state has failed to update Florida’s nondiscrimination laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination, updated Human Rights Ordinances (HROs) have been passed in 12 counties and 30 municipalities throughout the state, covering 60 percent of Florida’s population. But these protections create a patchwork where employees and their families are still subject to discrimination if they live in a neighboring city or county from their workplace without a local HRO.
Major employers, including 11 Fortune 500 companies AT&T, CSX, Darden Restaurants, Marriott, NextEra Energy, Office Depot, Raymond James, Tech Data, Uber, Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo have joined the coalition, along with more than 450 local businesses.