Politics | October 28th, 2020
Florida’s Amendment 2 Proposes Minimum Wage Hike
By: Sierra Lyons
A “yes” vote to Florida’s Amendment 2 could increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. The state’s current minimum wage of $8.56 would increase to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021, with an incremental increase of $1 every year, until it reaches $15 in 2026.
Should the amendment receive at least 60% “yes” votes, Florida would be joining seven other states that have passed bills to increase their minimum wage as of 2020.
Florida For a Fair Wage is sponsoring the amendment, as they are advocating to help ensure that “all Floridians can have the dignity of earning a fair wage for a hard day’s work.”
Attorney John Morgan and his firm based in Orlando led the proposal for Amendment 2 being placed on the ballot and has contributed over $5 million to advertise and advocate for the adoption of the amendment.
The debate around the government’s involvement in ensuring all working Americans are making a livable wage has been a hot topic, especially this year, as many are facing financial crises due to the pandemic. Many have their eyes on this amendment and are in support of it being approved as the cost of living has continued to increase in the state of Florida.
But those in opposition of the amendment have their reasons as well.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce is among many groups that oppose the increase in the state’s minimum wage. Many believe the fiscal impact will hurt businesses who have already suffered financially this year and will only ensure that jobs that have been lost this year don’t return. The increase in minimum wage will cost the state approximately $16 million in wage costs for governmental agencies.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce believes entry-level workers, as well as part-time workers, will be overlooked for positions as employers will be looking for more experienced workers to meet their standards. With Florida already working to recover its economy, many believe this is a bad time to try and increase the minimum wage.
Decisions to increase the minimum wage are typically split across the aisle, but it will be difficult to predict the outcome of this amendment due to mail-in voting. Historically, Democrats are usually in favor of minimum wage increases, while Republicans are opposed.
In a poll released by the University of North Florida in early October showed that the amendment is just on the cusp of being upheld, with exactly 60% of pollers being in favor of the passing of the amendment. Florida has already had thousands of mail-in ballots thrown out for lack of signatures and other logistical errors. It will be a very close call on whether the state will see an increase in wages through this ballot initiative. Only time will tell whether Florida will see an increase to its minimum wage and what new