In Florida, the minimum wage goes up Wednesday. It’s not to $15, but the discussion on that subject is on the horizon.
The state’s minimum wage will increase, like in half the states in the U.S. in 2020, from $8.46 to $8.56 an hour on Jan. 1, with a minimum wage of $5.54 an hour for tipped employees. It’s part of a constitutional amendment Florida voters approved in 2004 that increases the state minimum wage each year based on inflation.
And, we’ll be voting again in 2020 to discuss the minimum wage. Amendment 2 will be on the ballot during the Nov. 3 general election, which would raise it to $10 on Sept. 30, 2021, and then $1 per hour annually until reaching $15 in 2026.
Florida For A Fair Wage, a committee leading support of the initiative chaired by attorney John Morgan, is leading the campaign in support the new minimum wage.
They wrote: “Florida needs to pass the Fair Wage Amendment to ensure that all hard-working Floridians can receive a living wage. The ‘living wage’ is the minimum cost that covers the basic needs of an individual and the needs of their family without government assistance. Florida’s minimum wage of $8.46 – or $17,600 per year ($17,800 at $8.56) – for a full-time employee is not a livable wage for many of the 200,000 hard-working Floridians that earn it, especially those working to support a family.”
Fourteen states have wage increases that are set to go into effect on Jan. 1 or Dec. 31. Seven more states — Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, South Dakota, and Vermont — have automatic cost-of-living adjustments that will take effect on Jan. 1.
The Employment Policies Institute, a fiscally conservative group owned by a public relations specialist for the restaurant industry, has an opposing view to the minimum wage increase, stating that “the majority of empirical research shows that a higher minimum wage reduces employment for the least-skilled while having little to no effect on poverty rates.”
We will update this controversial topic as new data becomes available.