In a move that surprised absolutely no one, the legislature made good on its promise last week to draft legislation pre-empting counties or cities from enacting JOB-KILLING ordinances like earned sick time. On Feb. 7, state Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, flexed his chamber muscles with HB 655, an adorably awful bill that would require the mighty business world to meet requirements – say, to offer things like death benefits or sick time, or meet wage requirements – that could be manipulated by kinder "political subdivisions." Also, Precourt wants to make sure that contractors working with municipalities are not required to do anything nice for their employees, going so far as to make it seemingly illegal for contractors to get preferential treatment for offering superior working conditions. Unless doing so could prevent a municipality from receiving federal funds – because then we'll take what we can.
Not to be outdone, gormless state Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland, pulled out his dick card in the form of SB 726 on Feb. 8. Simmons extends a poisonous olive branch in his pre-emptive strike, allowing that – though municipalities would be forbidden from writing mandatory employee benefits into their books – employees will be allowed five days a year of absenteeism without fear of termination, five days to have doctor appointments and one day for emergency medical care, provided that there's a doctor's note. In exchange for this kindness, employees may be required to partake in a "wellness or preventive health program." More small government!