Orange County commissioners have agreed to put a measure on the ballot for 2014 that would force companies to offer paid sick time to all full time employees.
The measure passed on a 6 to 1 vote, with Commissioner Ted Edwards voting against it. He believes the ballot language, signed by 52,000 Orange County voters is misleading and illegal. He thinks it is the job of the Commission to be the final deciders on what appears on the ballot and whether or not the ballot language proposed by the citizens group is legally sufficient.
"And then, regardless of whether it is or is not," he said, they must determine, "whether or not that is the language we want to present to the voters."
Commissioners are basically approving this ballot initiative because they have no choice. After delaying the measure during a heated September 2012 meeting, the group Citizens for a Greater Orange County sued them for not acting right away. Recently, a judge agreed with the group, demanding Orange County act, so Mayor Teresa Jacobs did.
"In light of the decision of the court, I think that this board lacks any discretion in terms of their action in terms of supporting it."
Two forces are still looking to stop the measure from ever being considered by voters. The Florida Legislature is considering a bill that would ban counties from acting on referendums like this. Also, at least one business and business group has threatened to sue to get the ballot language in the sick time referendum deemed misleading and illegal.