UNITED STATES NEWS

Florida House votes to loosen child labor laws a year after tougher immigrant employment law enacted

Feb 1, 2024, 5:06 PM | Updated: 5:12 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A year after Florida enacted a new law to making it more difficult for employers to hire immigrants in the country illegally, the House passed a bill Thursday to let 16- and 17-year-olds work longer and later hours.

Supporters said teenagers and their parents know how to best manage their time and activities and lifting employment restrictions will help them build careers and earn money, especially with the current labor shortage. Opponents said the changes would make it easier for employers to exploit children and longer hours could negatively affect schoolwork.

“Nearly 1 million searches have been performed for ‘How can I get a job as a teen.’ They want to work. This bill gets government out of their way to choose a path that’s best for them,” said Republican Rep. Linda Chaney, who sponsored the bill.

The bill would remove restrictions prohibiting 16- and 17-year-olds from working more than eight hours when they have classes the next day and from working more than 30 hours a week when school is in session. The House passed it on an 80-35 vote.

Democrats opposing the bill argued that current law allows students plenty of time to work and attend school. Rep. Anna Eskamani questioned whether the measure was being proposed because the state’s immigrant employment restrictions are making it more difficult to fill some jobs.

“The elephant in the room is that we see a labor shortage in different parts of the economy and part of that is tied to decisions this Legislature has made when it comes to immigration,” she said.

She also said employers should pay adults more for less desirable jobs rather than relying on children.

“I have concerns with saturating the workplace with cheap labor, which will make it harder for every person to be paid a wage they can live on,” Eskamani said.

The Senate has a similar bill that doesn’t go as far as the House. Republican Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said she’s heard too many concerns from parents about “young people working all hours of the day and night and not sleeping and not getting an education.”

The Senate bill needs approval from two more committees before reaching the full chamber.

“We want to allow students or kids that want to work to do that, but our number one priority is to make sure that they don’t sacrifice their education,” Passidomo said.

United States News

Liam Lazo boards a diesel school bus near his home, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Virginia Beach, Va. D...

Associated Press

Tired of diesel fumes, these moms are pushing for electric school buses

Areli Sanchez’s daughter, Aida, used to be one of 20 million American kids who ride a diesel bus to school each day. Aida has asthma. When she was little, she complained about the smell and cloud of fumes on her twice-daily trip. “When she would come home from school or be on the bus, she […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Warren Buffett tells investors to ignore Wall Street pundits while paying tribute to Charlie Munger

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett credited his longtime partner — the late Charlie Munger — with being the architect of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate he’s received the credit for leading and warned shareholders in his annual letter not to listen to Wall Street pundits or financial advisors who urge them to trade often. Buffett […]

2 hours ago

FILE -Stephen Parlato of Boulder, Colo., holds a sign that reads "Hands Off Roe!!!" as abortion rig...

Associated Press

Alabama IVF ruling puts spotlight on state plans for tax breaks and child support for fetuses

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are legally protected children is highlighting how support for the idea that a fetus should have the same rights as a person underpins far less dramatic laws and proposals from abortion foes across the U.S. Lawmakers in at least six states have […]

10 hours ago

This image provided by Tyler Watts shows Florida Man Games competitors, from left, Joshua Barr, Mic...

Associated Press

At the Florida Man Games, tank-topped teams compete at evading police, wrestling over beer

They rose up by the dozens from across Florida, caricatured competitors in tank tops and cutoff shorts, for a showdown that treats evading police and wrestling over beer like Olympic sports. Promoted as “the most insane athletic showdown on Earth,” the Florida Man Games poke fun at the state’s reputation for bizarre stories that involve […]

10 hours ago

Andie Nelson, right, embraces Brian Jaskot, both of Virginia, after their race during the 25 meter ...

Associated Press

‘Totally cold’ is not too cold for winter swimmers competing in a frozen Vermont lake

NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) — Plunging into a frozen lake and swimming laps may not be everyone’s good time but for winter swimmers who return year after year to a northern Vermont lake near the Canadian border, there’s nothing better. The 10th annual Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival kicked off Friday with the 200-meter (218-yard) freestyle race […]

11 hours ago

FILE - A school bus moves up Rock Door Canyon Rd., in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah, on the Navajo r...

Associated Press

Native American tribes gain new authority to stop unwanted hydropower projects

Federal regulators have granted Native American tribes more power to block hydropower projects on their land after a flurry of applications were filed to expand renewable energy in the water-scarce U.S. Southwest.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Florida House votes to loosen child labor laws a year after tougher immigrant employment law enacted