Update: State Rep. Katie Edwards Is Lone Demo Vote To Kill Living Wage Law

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

Freshman state Rep. Katie Edwards voted to kill Broward’s living wage law and was immediately hit with a wave of robocalls attacking her.

Edwards was the only Democrat to vote for the bill.

It would end the requirement that contractors pay employees a living wage on their Broward County projects.

“She has a reputation of trying to cut deals with Republicans. She’s out for herself,” one upset Democratic state representative said.

 

Katie Edwards: Voting with Republicans

 

The robocalls accused Edwards of having “voted to cut wages and worker benefits in Broward County…Rep. Edwards should be standing up for working families.”

An e-mail apparently from the same group sponsoring the calls — the Orlando-based Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment — accused Edwards of doing the bidding of her uncle, Orange County Commissioner Ted Edwards. The business community in the Orlando area is pushing the bill.

Ted Edwards told the Orlando Sentinel that “Even though we have different party affiliations, she apparently has good sense.”

The bill was originally designed to preempt a voters referendum in Orlando, which would require employers to offer earned sick pay. The provision ending living wage requirements in Broward, Miami-Dade and other communities was tacked on somewhere in the process, according to Democrats.

The Republican sponsors of the bill argued that a statewide policy was needed to provide “certainty” to businesses.

The House passed the bill, HB 755, on a vote of 75-43.   Republican state Rep. George Moraitis and Democrat Edwards were the only Broward lawmakers to support the bill.

Under the provisions of the proposal, which must still pass the Senate, Broward could no longer require those signing contract with the county pay a living wage. Living wage is an amount set above the minimum wage which is supposed to be the lowest salary that would meet daily needs.

County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, who is the original sponsor of the living wage law about a decade ago, said she was disappointed by Edwards.

She said she talked to Edwards before last week’s vote. She said that Edwards misunderstood the benefits of Broward’s living wage ordinance.

Jacobs was optimistic that the bill could be stopped in the Senate.

“I’m hopeful that what I’ve spent my entire career working for and have a large amount of research showing its benefits to Broward County will prevail in the end….Isn’t it ironic that the governor and Republicans are talking about raising state (employee) salaries, while they are doing this?” Jacobs said.

Obviously sensing the potential political damage her vote could have, Edwards e-mailed supporters arguging that “This debate was not a fight between employers and employees. This bill was about curtailing how far local government could go in regulating that quintessential relationship that is at the core of our economy.”

A House Democrat said the language of the letter “parrots the Republican free-market, let businesses do anything line.”

Her entire letter is below:

 

From: “Katie Edwards” 
Date: April 5, 2013, 6:38:16 PM EDT
To: 
Subject: Message from Katie

Friends,

 

You may have received a mysterious robocall this afternoon about me.  I wanted to let you know what is going on so you are not alarmed.  Special interests from Orlando are attacking me because I stood up for the jobs and people in my community.

Let me set the record straight, in my own words. I voted for HB 655 to protect the very jobs in my district that have helped improve Broward’s infrastructure. I voted for HB 655 to prevent local governments from injecting themselves into the employer-employee relationship by dictating what additional benefits businesses must provide for their employees. I voted for HB 655 because I know that the market hates uncertainty, and Florida cannot have a thriving economy if every local government forces its own benefits policies on all businesses within their jurisdiction. HB 655 does not prohibit a county or city from providing its own employees with higher wages or benefits like paid sick leave, vacation, and health insurance. Also, HB 655 does not interfere with Davis-Bacon wage adjustments that protect our workers on federally funded projects.

As a former executive who has worked in the private sector, I appreciate the latitude and flexibility to develop benefits that were individualized for each employee. This flexibility allowed me to attract and retain the best and brightest employees while giving employees more choices in their benefits packages.

Placing a county commission or city council in charge of a business’ human resources department is not the answer.

This debate was not a fight between employers and employees. This bill was about curtailing how far local government could go in regulating that quintessential relationship that is at the core of our economy.

 As always, I am happy to answer your questions or concerns.

 Best,

Katie Edwards



19 Responses to “Update: State Rep. Katie Edwards Is Lone Demo Vote To Kill Living Wage Law”

  1. Broward Dem says:

    We do not need State lawmakers telling Broward County how to do business. What ever happened to Republicans supporting home rule?
    Edwards has F’d up on this one. You are not getting off on this either Georgie. At least we expect you to support moronic laws, Edwards should know better.

  2. Barack Obama says:

    Big government republicans strike again. They’re only “small government” when it meets their needs. Why am I not surprised?

  3. Tony T says:

    She’s a stealth Republican and always was. We couldn’t get the media to write anything about her true beliefs during the campaign. Maybe now somebody will listen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Rep. Edwards obviously used her own mind when voting with this bill and was not brainwashed by the rest of the liberals in the House who vote “NO” on just about every controversial Republican-sponsored Bill just to make a statement so the “minority presence” can be felt. We don’t need local governments telling employers how to develop benefits for their employees. Government has limits and thank you to the 75 Representatives who protected the economic liberties of the people of Florida AND thank you to Rep. Edwards for standing up for what she believes is right. She is a true Patriot and we are proud that she represents the people of Davie!

  5. Chaz Stevens, Malcontent says:

    A true patriot?

    hhahahaahahahahah…

    That one always cracks me the fuck up.

  6. freedom says:

    This a strike against the workers. We are heading backwards instead of forward. If it were up to some employers the minimum wage would be even less than it is. You try and work a 40 hour week and make less than it takes to have a roof over your head and food on the table. Sorry Rep. Edwards this was a blow to the working class and win for the plutocrats. Now you have to decide whose side you are on.

  7. modeengunch says:

    Gee, I guess the Dems appreciate only Maverick Republicans and not Maverick Democrats. Bunch of hippocruds.

  8. True Democrat says:

    Edwards theory about preventing “local governments from injecting themselves into the employer-employee relationship by dictating what additional benefits businesses must provide for their employees” would do away with minimum wages, child labor laws and safety laws. What a troglodyte.

  9. Broward Dem says:

    @Anonymous/Katie Edwards

    Calling yourself a true Patriot is not stealthy when you use the exact same verbiage as you did in your Facebook posts defending your position on this and other issues.

    If that is what you believe then comment with your own name.
    The verbiage used, the quotations used, the statements made the tone of the comment all mirror her recent posts on Facebook.

    Disappointed is an understatement.

  10. too funny says:

    has any broward taxpayer ever looked at the project bid awards for projects we fund? literally tens of millions of dollars every month, plus changes orders and additioanl ‘task orders’. the airport poject alone is over a billion dollars. the terminal re-designs are in the hundreds of millions. and the same old ‘same ole’ contractors get these projects. and its been this way for the last 20++ years. ditto the new courthouse. and any and all broward schools projects large and small. so a few dollars an hour for every bottom of the rung worker for a ‘living wage’ is barely felt. heck those extra dollars a week are their fuel bills for their take home pick up trucks and SUV’s written thru the business and charged to the job.
    lets send her packing at next election. we should have elected her opponent.

  11. Hurricane rocks says:

    Looks like The Political Hurricane had a premonition when they endorsed her Primary opponent. Should have listened to them!

  12. lol says:

    You all act like she was the deciding vote. It would have passed anyway.

  13. Floridan says:

    Certainty? That’s just a cover for doing the bidding of Disney and Darden, whose executives get rich while paying a huge percentage of their workers poverty-level wages.

    Funny, though, that even with a living wage ordinance, Broward County does not have any trouble attracting companies to bid on projects.

    The race to the bottom continues.

  14. Kevin says:

    Most of us Broward readers may not know it, but Katie Edwards before running (successfully) in 2012 for the west-central Broward seat ran in 2010 (unsuccessfully) in District 119, which is south and southwestern Miami-Dade.

    Some people accused her of basically running a racist, anti-Hispanic campaign. Now personally, I think that is a bit unfair and over-the-top (these campaigns can get mean and crazy), but there are obviously people who don’t like her approach very much.

    Kevin.

  15. jealousme says says:

    who is using robocalls against KAtie Edwards under the guise of the Florida Institute of Reform and Empowerment- you should be ashamed of yourself Kristin!

  16. Katie Is A Republican says:

    Watch her vote on the budget. She’ll fall in line with the rest of the Republicans.

  17. Nick Lento says:

    Now is the time to start organizing a primary challenge.

    The label is beautiful…a progressive humane decent Democrat…..but this is the ugly vote of a regressive cruel mean-spirited greedy corporatist Republican.

    I have more respect for Republicans that stand up and proclaim themselves as Republicans….this vote is an atrocity.

    The problem is national and goes beyond this one vote by this one legislator….let’s face it folks…the establishment of the Democratic party has been compromised by the wealthy and the powerful.

    The answer is not to waste a vote on a protest candidate, but to elect real Democrats. Ms Edwards managed to con Democrats into voting for her…I hope and pray that that now that the lights have been turned on that the devil that is in the details has been exposed and she (and ALL fake Democrats across the nation) will be turned out of office at the next opportunity.

  18. AMWakeUpCall says:

    Sad that people are so surprised. Sad that Louis Reinstein had been portrayed near to the election as getting “desperate” and as not viable. Reinstein was a good candidate and a true Democrat. Edwards was and is not. It was not difficult to ascertain that at all. Perhaps more voters in the district consider themselves more conservative than do not, but Katie Edward’s statement is an outrage, it’s basically dishonest, and democracy certainly doesn’t appear to be her overriding concern.

  19. Valerie Parkhurst says:

    I guess its true what they say about dems, you people really do “eat your own” In case you havent noticed? Vendors doing business with the County must use e-verify when using workers on taxpayer funded jobs. To date they have weaseled out of it on every major construction job. (Broward County Courthouse) for example. and You numbnuts want to give these same illegal workers the benefit of a “living wage” increase. Seriously just how stupid are you people?

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