State Legislative Liaison Report

State Legislative Report – July 2019
Kevin Byrne, State Legislative Liaison, FSALC.

I have prepared a presentation that will be shown at the State Convention in St. Petersburg that summarizes the achievements and the work done this year by the Florida AFL-CIO through their Working Family Lobby Corps program. This program, now in its’ 9th year, involves different unions from around the state. Although as letter carriers, most of our challenges stem from issues addressed at the national level, the one thing that we all have in common is the improvement of our way of life both at home and in the workplace. Numerous issues are discussed, some we support and some we are opposed to. Many of these same issues arise year after year, so we must not give up the fight.                              We have addressed problems like fracking, home rule policies, taxation, benefits for state workers, immigration, voting rights and policies, along with a host of other issues. If we don’t get involved at this level, we will be giving in to the powerful politicians in Tallahassee who often do NOT have our best interests in mind.                                               As letter carriers, we continue to use this opportunity to expand Vote by Mail whenever we can. We are currently working on a proposal that would require tax collectors around the state to provide notification of the procedure for requesting a Vote by Mail ballot along with the motor vehicle registration renewal that gets mailed every year.                                In addition, we have gained some support for the idea of requiring that “all gasoline powered generators sold in Florida must include a carbon monoxide detector”. As letter carriers we witness the use of generators when we return to our neighborhoods after serious storms. Too often, we read of our customers that have suffered dire consequences from exposure to carbon monoxide. If we can use our platform to address this safety issue, we should.                                                                                                                                        Lastly, we have had conversations with a few legislators about adding a voluntary personal identification number (PIN) to the voter registration files. In the event of signature match questions, this could provide a much quicker and easier way of verifying voter identity.
I hope you all enjoy your convention and training and look forward to seeing you all again.

Kevin J Byrne