Ft. Lauderdale State Rep. Votes Against Broward

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

One problem with the capital being in Tallahassee 450 miles away is that legislators sometime vote against our interests and nobody seems to notice.

Well, I’m paying attention State Rep. George Moraitis, R- Fort Lauderdale.

 

George Moraitis: Voting against the county’s wishes

 

 

Moraitis voted in favor of a bill on Wednesday that would repeal Broward’s Living Wage Ordinance.

Companies having contracts greater than $100,000 with Broward County currently must pay employees a living wage – currently $12.57 without health insurance.

The bill Moraitis supported would ban such local initiatives, including a similar one in Miami-Dade County.

Moraitis was one of 10 Local & Federal Affairs Committee members who supported the measure.  Seven members voted against it.

“No surprise. He’s a Republican,” said County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, who sponsored living wage a decade ago. “…It’s a home rule issue.”

The county’s lobbyists are fighting Moraitis and his GOP cronies in Tallahassee.

These are the same Republicans who call themselves “the champions of home rule.”  These folks preach that government closest to the people should decide everything, i.e., local government.

I guess they are for home rule unless it gets in the way of some GOP special interest.

Like the GOP vote years ago to take away local gun control.  And now Broward’s living wage ordinance is in their crosshairs.

Apparently telling a business that wants county contracts to pay employees more than starvation wages is wrong.

Supporters of the bill have a different spin, of course.

State Rep. Steve Precourt of Orlando, the bill’s Republican sponsor, was quoted in the Tampa Bay Times as saying allowing local governments to pass living wage laws are “really distorting the current economy and there is a need for uniformity.”

What are living wages in Broward? Just how much money are we talking about?

Not Rockefeller money.  Not even Moraitis money, a lawyer whose joint gross income with his wife Heather Moraitis was $260,802 in 2011, according to his income tax statement on file in Tallahassee.

Broward’s living wage amounts to a little over $500-a-week, or roughly $26,100-a-year.

Pols like Moraitis should be forced to spend a day with people who depend on a living wage.   It might give Moraitis and his well-to-do pals a better understanding of what it is like to struggle just to put food on your table or a roof over your head.

Broward’s experience with living wages has been positive. Giving workers a living wage has not affected firms one iota. The same companies still scramble for county contracts.

“We have more than a decade to show this living wage didn’t cause the sky to fall,” Jacobs said. “Our local businesses say it strengthens the economic environment…This helps the economic health of the county.”

Luckily this bill (HR 655) has a long way to go before it passes the full House and the Senate.

Before it does, somebody needs to remind Moraitis of the GOP precept: Local governments should decide local issues.

 



20 Responses to “Ft. Lauderdale State Rep. Votes Against Broward”

  1. Former Public Sector Employee says:

    Buddy: Does any empirical evidence exist on the effects of Broward’s Living Wage Ordnance? What percentage of contractor employees had their wages raised to comply with the law, for example. It’s certainly a “feel good” law. Wonder how much real effect it’s actually had.

  2. Insider says:

    George Moriaitis could be history. Best kept secret in Broward is whether former Broward Mayor Ken Keechl takes him down in 2014. Instead, Keechl ran for the Broward Commission in 2012 when he could have won it. This seat is Keechl’s if he really wants it….a big if from what I’m hearing. He is talking about reclaiming his seat from LaMarca.

  3. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Excellent article, Buddy!

    If Moraitis and Precourt are really concerned about wage levels that distort the economy, they are barking up exactly the wrong tree. The heads of U.S. corporations (CEOs, Chief Executive Officers), who in 1980 received 42 times the pay of the average worker, are today receiving fully 380 times the pay of the average worker, which is by far the widest gap in the world!

    http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-the-99

  4. tally insider says:

    “GOP vote years ago to take away local gun control.”
    Actually the preemption passed in the mid 80s, when the Democrats were in control of Tallahassee.

  5. Don't have a Cowan says:

    The Living wage ordinance is a radical Marxist principal that has no place in a free society. Jacobs and her ilk should try to work on things that matter like getting the traffic lights synchronized and the airport finished and quit trying to make ole Karl Marx proud.

    Keep up the good work, George

  6. just one vote says:

    seems like city of fort lauderdale has 2 or maybe 3 reps representing ‘us’ in tallahassee as a result of re-districting.
    nothing like divide and conquer for these clown electeds to maintain short term clout.
    a few dollars an hour will break the bank, right? Florida will always be (please pick one)
    A. Third World Country
    B. Banana Republic
    C. Never the intelligensia

  7. Rush Limbaugh of West Palm Beach says:

    My dog is smarter than this idiot! A self serving hypocrite

  8. Sam The Sham says:

    Sorry Mayor Jacobs, but you are a hypocrite. You should call your own county HR dept and ask them what your lowest full time job pays. FYI, it is a lot less than $26K. Part time people fair even worse with an hourly wage of $11.06. Think that there are not many part timers at the county? Think again. Parks are staffed mostly by part timers and students at very low wages and NO benefits.

    People denigrate businesses for using low paid. part time labor without benefits, but our county government uses this tactic more than anybody else.

  9. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    >> Best kept secret in Broward is whether former Broward Mayor Ken Keechl takes him down in 2014.

    Phrasing! Boom!!!

  10. Floridan says:

    I’m not sure in what way Broward’s living wage ordinance is
    “distorting the current economy.”

    Are there a paucity of contractors bidding on County projects? Hardly.

    Take the new courthouse project, for instance. The living wage law has a negligible effect on the contractor and the County.

    Typical GOP position: reward the rich so they will work harder; punish the poor so they will work harder.

  11. Duke says:

    Whenever I see republicans opposing minimum wage ordinances it’s makes me so proud not to be one. These ordinances have been taking off and gaining ground all over America since around 2002. Most of these folks who oppose minimum wage were raised in fairly well to do households, graduated high school, went off to college, followed by 2 or 3 years of graduate school or law school and then got a good paying job, and a political gig that also pays more than it should. They were never part of the middle or lower income class and have zero empathy for what that’s like. The “We The People” concept is far beyond them.

  12. Patti Lynn says:

    Let’s keep an eye on him so that he doesn’t, once again, try to introduce a bill asking for “clarification” of the condo/HOA bill. He tried it last year, and it would have cost associations thousands of dollars…all while protecting big banks.

  13. Home rule rules! says:

    Buddy, while the issue itself is important, you hit the nail on the head when you pointed out the hypocrisy of the GOP vis a vis “home rule.” Aren’t they the party that decries too much government and espouses the importance of local (home) rule?

    Except, of course, when it comes to issues they disagree with. You are so right on target with this one! Home rule rules, except when the “other” party controls the local governing body.

  14. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    The “clarification” bill was supported by one of the state’s largest association law firms headquartered in Broward. That firm offered the “clarification” amendment at Moraitis’ request. I was at the meeting when this was disclosed. It was to say the least, an awkward moment.

    I think it would be good to keep an eye out for that firm this session should it again support something so detrimental to condos and HOAs.

  15. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Gee, Charlotte, could you possibly be talking about this particular law firm?
    ~~~~~
    http://www.trippscott.com/practice-areas/condominium-hoa.html

    “The lawyers of Tripp Scott’s condominium and homeowners’ association practice provide South Florida condominium and homeowners’ associations and cooperatives with comprehensive legal counsel on a wide array of issues.  Recognized for handling of complex cases in this area of the law, the firm has established its reputation as one of the state’s preeminent authorities on condominium and homeowners’ association issues. ”

  16. Whatever says:

    Some representatives, such as Moraitis, seem to identify more with being pure to an ideology that hasn’t and won’t work in the real world.

  17. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    To HaHaHa: Nope, not that firm. I know where you’re trying to go, but the road leads elsewhere.

  18. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Then it must have been this firm:
    ~~~~~
    http://www.becker-poliakoff.com/community-association-litigation-covenant-enforcement

    “Becker & Poliakoff’s reputation as a pioneer and leader in Community Association law is well-known throughout the legal community. Judges, arbitrators, and other attorneys are aware that Becker & Poliakoff clients not only have the benefit of decades of experience but also, the largest team of dedicated community association lawyers to represent clients. With over 4,000 Community Association clients, there is almost no issue the Firm’s attorneys have not dealt with before.”

  19. Ghost of McLovin says:

    Jacobs citing “home rule” as she continues to force County regulation upon 31 municipalities is hilarious

  20. just one vote says:

    condo association legal counsel can’t have it both ways. a certain broward firm fought the fire sprinkler code requirement, touted it in newsletters but when the damage claims from ‘cat’ events were filed, sprinkler code upgrades, along with fire alarm, etc etc were in the claim. guess as long as ‘someone else’ is paying for these long overdue life safety requirements all fair.

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