The Senate has unanimously authorized a invoice that might permit 16- and 17-year-olds to work on some building websites. However earlier than the vote, Senators amended the invoice to take away a provision associated to apprenticeship applications.

The maneuver implies that HB 917 is headed again to the Home, which handed the invoice 84-30, largely alongside get together strains. Democratic Reps. Lisa Dunkley of Dawn and Johanna Lopez of Orlando joined Republicans voting for the invoice. GOP Reps. Mike Beltran of Riverview and Paula Stark of St. Cloud voted with Democrats towards it.

Sen. Corey Simon, a Tallahassee Republican, mentioned the invoice — which additionally seeks to develop apprenticeship applications in trades like building in additional college districts across the state — is geared toward serving to youngsters get workforce expertise. He mentioned the measure bought “conflated” with one other invoice to take away restrictions on kids within the office.

“Sadly we’ve districts that don’t have these academies,” Simon mentioned. “That’s all this invoice does is admittedly have interaction our building trades.”

“We’ve made positive that … we’re at all times defending our youngsters,” he added.

Beneath the invoice, a 16- or 17-year-old can work on a residential building website with scaffolding or roofing that’s lower than six toes excessive if they’ve been licensed by the Occupational Security and Well being Administration and is beneath direct supervision of somebody not less than 21 years previous with not less than two years of expertise.

Simon’s modification eliminated a provision that restricted how a lot cash college districts may obtain for administering the apprenticeship applications.

Opposition to the invoice has primarily centered on issues in regards to the security of younger employees.

“I perceive the necessity to improve alternatives for coaching and apprenticeship,” Beltran wrote in a note explaining his vote.

“Nonetheless, I’m involved in regards to the lack of ample guardrails referring to underage employees on presumably harmful jobsites. I might have been extra snug if there have been stronger language to make sure shut supervision of those weak youths and that the first goal of such work is bona fide coaching.”

The Home should now agree with the modification or ship it again to the Senate. The chambers should attain a consensus on the invoice within the remaining week of the Common Session for it to make it to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk.

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