Florida-Only E-Verify Proposal on Senate Committee Agenda Tomorrow

On February 18, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee will hear legislation mandating private sector use of the federal E-Verify program, Senate Bill 664. The text of the bill, which was amended to address several business-sector concerns at the last committee stop, can be found here.

An amendment has been filed to remove the agricultural exemption that was added in its first committee stop and additional amendments are expected as this legislation progresses. This is its second of three committee stops in the Senate. The House companion bill has not been heard yet, although that may soon change. The House bill has also yet to be amended and retains several anti-business provisions. The full text of that bill can be found here.

The Florida Chamber continues to have reservations on this Florida-only mandate, believing that comprehensive immigration reform must be done at the federal level rather than through a series of state-by-state fixes. We will continue to work with legislative leaders in both the House and the Senate to ensure that any law will not unfairly harm Florida’s competitiveness or economy.

Share Your Thoughts

Please let us know how SB 664 will impact your business. You can contact Policy Director Christopher Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com.

Senate Committee Passes E-Verify Proposal

On February 11, 2020, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an E-Verify proposal, SB 664, but not before making dramatic changes.

The original deeply problematic bill was amended to include important provisions, including safe harbor provisions for businesses following the law as well as protections for small businesses.

The Florida Chamber shared its support of the amendment, sponsored by Senator David Simmons, in advance of the committee meeting, and Florida Chamber Policy Director Christopher Emmanuel testified in support of the amendment during the committee meeting.

“The amendment provides significant improvements to the original bill,” Emmanuel shared with lawmakers and told the Miami Herald.

The Florida Chamber will always have reservations on state-specific mandates, especially on areas of policy that should be handled at the federal level of government. But Senator Tom Lee, the sponsor of the bill, said in committee that this bill is still a work in progress.

The Florida Chamber looks forward to being a part of the conversation.

Share Your Thoughts

Share your thoughts on SB 664 with Christopher Emmanuel at cemmanuel@flchamber.com.

Florida-Only E-Verify Proposal on Senate Committee Agenda Next Tuesday

Senate Bill 664, legislation mandating private sector usage of the federal E-Verify program, will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. The full text of the bill can be found here.

In its current form, Senate Bill 664 requires all employers in the state to use the federal E-Verify program, allows public entities to nullify contracts with businesses based on suspected non-compliance, creates more legal liability through a new cause of action, and threatens government investigations if any person claims to have a “good faith belief” that a business has hired an unlawful worker.

To be sure, this bill is early in the process. Tuesday’s committee is the first hearing E-Verify legislation has received in either chamber this legislative session. The Florida Chamber expects several potential amendments to be filed before Tuesday’s hearing. We will be working with legislators between now and the Tuesday hearing and monitoring any proposed amendments closely.

As you know, the Florida Chamber has long advocated for Congress to fix our broken immigration system, preferring a comprehensive, federal solution rather than a state-by-state patchwork of proposed fixes.

If your business opposes this Florida-only mandate as drafted, please let your state legislators know before Tuesday’s meeting.