George Gibbs Center for Economic Prosperity

Employer-Sponsored Benef⁠i⁠⁠t⁠s S⁠t⁠udy Task Force F⁠i⁠nal Repor⁠t⁠

By: The James Madison Institute / 2014
Employer-Sponsored Benefits Study Task Force Final Report – January 15, 2014
Executive Summary
The Employer-Sponsored Benefits Study Task Force was formed by the Florida Legislature through House
Bill 655, which required Workforce Florida, Inc., to organize and run the task force as well as the President of
Workforce Florida, Inc., to serve as both chairman and a member of the task force.
The task force was charged with analyzing employment benefits and the impact of state preemption of such
benefits. The task force consisted of 10 legislatively appointed members including Chairman Chris Hart
IV. The Office of the Senate President appointed four members. The Speaker of the House appointed five
members. One senator and one representative were included in those appointments. The task force was
also charged with providing a final report, including findings and recommendations, to the Governor, Senate
President and Speaker of the House.
At the conclusion of the four-month period in which the task force conducted meetings, which included hours of
testimony from industry leaders and experts as well as concerned citizens, the majority of the 10-member task
force concluded that state government should preempt local governments from setting minimum mandatory
employer-sponsored benefits. In addition, the task force recommends that the state should not
set minimum mandatory standards for employer-sponsored benefits. The reasoning behind the task force’s decision was
based, in part, on the following factors:
• Allowing localities to set minimum mandatory employer-sponsored benefits would create a “patchwork”
of local regulations, making it difficult for businesses to comply with individual laws from city to city and
county to county and putting Florida businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
• It is not government’s role, in this case, to regulate an area that should be determined within the
negotiations of the employer/employee relationship.
• Allowing the free market to dictate competitive employee benefits is a sound business platform and
provides opportunities for growth in the state.
• Preemption provides a stable business environment for Florida and promotes economic development
and ultimately serves employees by supporting job retention and growth.