This study suggests an historical explanation for Florida's enactment of a statewide public sector collective bargaining law in 1974. Florida has characteristics that, in other states, have tended to militate against the passage of such a law: a weak statewide labor movement, low interparty competition, active business opposition, and the long-term incumbency of conservative southern Democrats. Using interviews and historical documents, the authors identify events and conditions that, they argue, account for the 1974 legislation. Notably, federal court-ordered reapportionment led to the election of urban progressives; a revision of the state's constitution gave public employees collective bargaining rights; and the Florida Supreme Court, responding to a suit filed by a local teachers' union, took actions that forced the legislature to enact a collective bargaining law.
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