Two Florida state legislators — House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and Sen. Garrett Richter — have introduced a resolution calling for an amendment to the state Constitution that would guarantee employees an opportunity to vote by secret ballot in union representation elections.
The operative language reads:
Where local, state, or federal law requires elections for public office, requires public votes on initiatives or referenda, or requires designations or authorizations of employee representation, the right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed.
The full text of the resolution may be viewed here.
In Florida, a constitutional amendment requires adoption by a three-fifths majority in both the state House and Senate and a 60 percent majority of the electorate. If the measure passes the legislature this year, it would be placed on the ballot in the state’s general election in 2010.
Whether this is a futile exercise is yet to be seen. There is a large and complex body of law on the doctrine of federal preemption of state efforts to regulate labor issues within the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act, and proponents of the Employee Free Choice Act will certainly claim that the measure proposed in Florida would be preempted.