If you haven’t had a chance to review my take on Amendment 1, be sure to check out Amendment 1 – Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections.
Now we are going to take a look at Amendment 2 and work through some of the details. As with all state constitutional amendments, all of the details are not written on the ballot….there just simply isn’t enough room. Here is a quick take on some of the specifics.
Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage
Ballot Language: “Raises minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective September 30th, 2021. Each September 30th thereafter, minimum wage shall increase by $1.00 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30th, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30th, 2027.”
You can read the current Article X – Miscellaneous – Section 24.
The current minimum wage is $8.56. The initial increase would increase the minimum wage by $1.46 to $10.00. For the five years following, the minimum wage would increase by $1.00 on September 30th.
So, what does a YES vote mean?
A YES vote means that you agree to raise the minimum wage in stages until it reaches $15.00 per hour in the year 2026. Every year following, the minimum wage will be adjusted for inflation.
And a NO vote?
A NO vote means the current minimum wage of $8.56 will remain in place, it will continue to be adjusted annually for inflation.
Florida last voted on a minimum wage ballot measure in 2004 which was approved by a vote of 71% to 28%, it was set at $6.15 per hour and has been increased each year based on changes in the CPI-W. In 16 years, the amount has increased by $2.41.
The driving force behind this measure is a group called Florida For a Fair Wage, whose chairman is John Morgan from Morgan & Morgan. “Florida needs to pass a Fair Wage Amendment to ensure that all hard-working Floridians can receive a living wage.” The Morgan Firm PA has contributed, as of 9/11/2020, $4,199,553.28, SEIU Florida $293,750.00 and SPLC Action Fund $250,000.00.
There are no registered committees to oppose the Amendment (Revised 10/5/2020) There is one committee registered to oppose the Amendment, Save Florida Jobs, Inc.
Major opponents of the measure include The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. Carol Dover, the associations CEO stated “An increase like this would have disastrous impacts on businesses and individuals alike. Business owners will be forced to find solutions to control costs… the most obvious solutions include reducing the number of employees, reducing the numbers of hours remaining employees work, and seeking labor alternatives like automation” Washington state currently has initiated the highest minimum wage rate to date. Starting in 2016 the minimum wage went from $9.47 to $13.50 in 2020.
It is very important to note that this measure can be enacted in statute by the Florida Legislature. It does not require a Florida constitutional amendment to address.