CONTACT: MICHELLE DeMARCO
SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER CHRIS SMITH FILES AMERICAN JOBS BILL
TALLAHASSEE – Tired of the stubbornly high unemployment rate in Florida, Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale) announced Thursday that he has re-filed his “American Jobs” legislation for the 2013 legislative session.
“American tax dollars, along with Floridians’ tax dollars should be going to rebuild our own economies, not China’s or India’s or some other foreign country’s,” said Senator Smith. “This is an effective way to put the power of our money to work creating American jobs on American soil.”
Similar to legislation (SB 678) he filed last year, SB 90 would require that any new state contracts involving call center services and exceeding $35,000 be staffed by employees located within the United States. The restrictions would apply not only to the contractor, but any subcontractors as well.
The legislation would also be a welcome relief to customers in the United States struggling to understand call center operators with limited English-speaking abilities and growing concern about the commitment of state dollars to companies that move jobs offshore.
Many businesses already operate domestic call centers and would not incur significant extra costs as a result of the change. Florida in particular has a strong call center market, and in a state struggling with an above-average unemployment rate, would be well positioned to take advantage of the new requirement should the bill become law.
During the 2012 legislative session, SB 678 unanimously passed the Senate. The House refused to take it up.