Gaetz names three to benefits study task force

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Senate President Don Gaetz today named a business leader, a union representative and a legislator to the state panel analyzing current employee benefit trends in Florida. The Benefits Study Task Force will also evaluate the impact of state laws pre-empting local governments from mandating health and benefit levels for private sector companies in their jurisdictions. 

Appointed were Jeff Clyne, president of Mid-State Machine and Fabricating Corporation headquartered in Lakeland; Andy Madtes, a South Florida union leader; and Senator Rob Bradley. They join Art Kimbrough, a small business owner from Marianna, whom the President appointed previously. Gaetz is also expected to choose a physician to round out the Senate’s representation. The Speaker of the House has similar appointing authority over the group. The task force was created by law during the 2013 legislative session and is expected to make a report to the presiding officers and recommendations for action during the 2014 and 2015 sessions. The law, including the task force, was enacted because of organized labor initiatives in central and south Florida to encourage county commissions to stipulate benefits for private companies doing business in their counties. 

Clyne will represent business owners in Florida with more than 50 employees on the task force. He is chief executive officer a large privately held heavy industrial contractor with more than 500 employees. Kimbrough, named last month, represents companies with fewer than 50 employees. Madtes, who lives in Miami, is President of the South Florida Chapter of the AFL-CIO and is Secretary and Treasurer of Unite Here. Sen. Bradley, a former county commissioner in Clay County, is managing partner and attorney with Kopelousos and Bradley, PA in Orange Park. 

Clyne, Madtes and Bradley are appointed to the task force beginning immediately and ending June 30, 2014.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.