Florida Bill Would Put State Public Unions On Notice

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A bill that would require public sector unions to disclose membership counts on an annual basis passed through committee in the Florida legislature Wednesday, and is now awaiting a floor vote.

Republican Florida state legislator Scott Plakon introduced House Bill 11, which would compel public sector unions to report its membership count and how many members are paying dues.

If less than 50 percent of eligible members are paying dues, the organization representing those workers would need to seek re-certification every year they fail the test.

Only about 10 percent of state workers belong to a union, and so the Florida American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and teachers unions would have to re-certify every year, according to publication the Tallahassee Democrat. Florida is a right-to-work state, which allows employees to seek employment without joining a union.

Opponents of the bill consider the measure an effort to break apart unions, asserting that the bill is all politics.

“Since we know this is about politics we know what the vote outcome is going to be in this committee. This bill is about union-busting, plain and simple,” Democratic State representative Carlos Guillermo Smith told the Orlando Politics.

Proponents of the bill argued transparency and accountability were the reasons behind the legislation.

Plakon’s office and the Florida speaker of the house’s office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

The bill exempts police officers, prison guards and firefighters, in order to maintain labor peace in critical emergency services industries.

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Ted Goodman