A law passed by the Florida legislature, but yet to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), prohibits municipalities from implementing heat safety protections for workers in the Sunshine State. Florida is at least the second state to ban local heat protections, following a similar law passed in Texas last summer.

In 2020, Florida passed the Zachary Martin Act requiring schools to have emergency medical plans for heat injuries just two months after the mother of a white high school football player who died in 2017 of heatstroke beseeched them to do so.

In 2019, Haitian farmworker Clovis Excellent died of heatstroke after pulling stakes from tomato beds in over 90°F heat and at least — the eighth worker to die from heat illness in the state after Martin’s death and the passage of the law named for him. Excellent, an undocumented immigrant, had a core temperature was 109°F when he was found unconscious but his death, nor the deaths of the seven other farmworkers who died in those two years, were ever reported by local papers.

In both Texas and Florida, the GOP lawmakers behind the laws banning local heat protections claim they are simply standardizing regulations by “follow[ing] OSHA’s rule,” as Sen. Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City) told South Florida radio station WLRN. The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration, however, has no rule or worker protections for heat. (Tampa Bay Times and Grist; Florida law: The Guardian, E&E $, News4JAX, The Hill; Backlash: Occupational Health and Safety; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves)