Florida Senate passes bill blocking local rules protecting workers from heat

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Florida’s Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would ban cities and counties from adopting requirements for mandatory water breaks and other workplace protections against extreme heat.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 28-11, along party lines, to pass Senate Bill 1492, which would prohibit local governments from determining workplace heat standards that go beyond those required by federal law. In effect, the bill would strip cities and counties of the ability to require water breaks for workers and time to rest in the shade throughout the day.

The state legislation comes after the planet notched its hottest year in recorded history in 2023. Nearly the entire southern portion of the United States last summer suffered weeks on end of oppressive humidity and triple-digit temperatures in a series of long-lasting heat waves that climate scientists said were intensified by global warming.

Supporters of Senate Bill 1492 said the measure will help establish uniform regulations, rather than having rules applied inconsistently across the state.

Read the full story on NBC News.

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