In about an hour, legions of supporters and opponents of the Orange County Employer Sick Time Initiative will fill the Administrative building to take turns behind the podium giving their opinions to the Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the rest of the Orange County Commission.
The latest county level war is waged by partisan and money-aimed organizations that apparently have nothing better to do… in an election year.
The measure would require businesses that have more than 15 workers to pay for sick time, when their employees work a certain amount of hours. Businesses with less than 15 workers wouldn’t have to pay but couldn’t penalize for time off. It sounds innocent and fair enough but let’s be honest, this is just another round in the grudge match that will gunk up the political engine we need running the cleanest at all times. County government. The level of government where the rubber hits the road. The most visited region in the world and it’s county government doesn’t have the time.
There are the groups pushing for the initiative who, didn’t meet the original petition deadline and only after granted an extension by Mayor Jacobs met the required number of signatures. They’ve been representative by attorney Scott Randoloph who was the biggest Tallahassee bomb thrower the Democrats had in the legislature, and might be seeking their State Chairman position instead of re-election to the Florida House. He’s flanked by Organized Now an activist group that champions issues that lean left. They’re goal is to get Democrats elected and prop up any cause to get that done.
Then there is the business, Chamber of Commerce type folks They’re Republicans and Democrats but don’t let that fool you, they’ve got loyalty to the dollar, the bottom line, and it doesn’t matter who or what stands in their way, they’re going to get their money. The County Commission has a stout Republican majority and those Republicans will be taking the hits in front of the cameras but, make no mistake, the opposition to this initiative is a bi-partisan one with money on their mind, and if their opponents are Democrat, Republican, or Independents, they must be dealt with.
Let’s talk about what the commission is doing. They’ll be discussing competing ballot measures, altering language, and an array of other things that could be done to halt the initiative. Save Commissioner Jennifer Thompson, who has been voicing her concerns on social media for months, the rest of the commission might not have realized how big this fight could get, and how much damage could be done. While we’re talking about damage let’s clarify.
This initiative would be bad, and would hurt hiring. Make no mistake about it.
Advocates in favor of this bill (with no ulterior political motives) forget about the measures businesses will take to preserve their bottom line. Oh, They’re gonna get their money and if it means hiring freezes, cutting back other benefits or leaving Orange County, they’ll do it. Don’t get me started on the possible frivolous lawsuits that could stem from this. They’re gonna get their money and it will be all of us that suffer from it.
Still, we can’t lose perspective over what the real goal of both sides are. On one side it’s about causing unrest to hurt Republicans in future elections and on the other side it’s about raising profits. You think it’s about supporting workers? You’re wrong.