The living wage is the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support themselves. In Florida the living wage for a single adult working full time is calculated at $11.25 – the calculation goes up if there is a family to support.
In Florida the minimum wage is now $8.25 but only applies to full-time employees and is based on the federal consumer price index. Employers can circumvent the law by only hiring part-time workers. The cost of living in some Florida cities is higher and that is not taken into consideration by the Florida laws and those cities can’t make a change without court approval.
Florida has some work to do and at the very least needs to plan ahead. I intend to help make that happen. Living wages result in appreciative workers that care about your business, can afford your product and can live closer to their workplace. The most profitable businesses in our country today recognize these facts as smart business sense.
The FL Constitution provides for unions, but does not allow strikes and there is no state equivalent for the federal program under the OSHA/Occupational Safety & Health Association. Unions have NOT been supported by the FL Legislature and their ability to stand up for their members is in jeopardy.
Florida is a “right to work state” but not a “right to know” state – that means you aren’t required to join or pay any dues to a union AND it is not required that you be told about any chemical hazards related to your job.
But joining a Union creates dialog and can result in co-operation and respect between employers and employees. Unions are useful to employers who care about their bottom line because unions care about safety on the job and less accidents mean the cost of doing business goes down.
For the last 11 years the public trust funds set up to support Affordable Housing in Florida have been stripped annually by the State Legislature. The proceeds have gone into General Revenue to be spent on anything but.
Affordable Housing is not just the right thing to do, but is critical to our business economy. Affordable Housing encourages employers to relocate to Florida, because there will be a local workforce for their companies to hire. By having local housing options, employees can then support the economy with their wages, and the community with their involvement, where they both live and work.
Immigration / DACA
Children born here of undocumented individuals automatically become citizens, but they grow up living in daily fear that a parent could be deported at any time. Temporary visas can be withdrawn, and have been, at the whimsy of the President – even after decades of contributing to our society as professionals and employers. DACA students are trying to complete their education but face an uncertain future.
In a country of immigrants, we need to find a way to support our neighbors who risked everything and fled oppressive countries to find a better life. Immigrants bring diversity that contributes to our culture and in SWFL they are the backbone of many professions and business economies. Providing legal status should be a start to a path to citizenship.
My opponent was co-sponsor of CS/HB9 that banned sanctuary cities in Florida. There is no precise legal definition, but to me the term “sanctuary city” indicates an acceptance of immigrants; a caring philosophy for their health and safety; and protection efforts to stop their exploitation. Using local city and municipal police forces to enforce federal immigration laws makes us all less safe. Sanctuary Cities build trust between communities and the police; crimes are more likely to be reported; and undocumented people are more likely to send their children to school and seek medical attention while working in the local economy that depends on their contribution.