Central Florida voters react to push for $15 minimum wage

Residents have mixed reactions to Amendment 2

Across Central Florida, views are mixed on Amendment 2, which would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour if it passes.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Come November, Amendment 2 will be on the ballots, giving voters the chance to decide whether or not to increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026.

People on both sides of the issue had strong opinions on the ballot measure.

Evan Dimov, the owner of a restaurant called Too Much Sauce, said businesses are getting squeezed right now.

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He said this initiative supported by the Florida For A Fair Wage campaign is concerning.

Dimov said when he plugged in the numbers, the money is going to have to come from somewhere, whether it be higher prices for customers, or less people working.

Attorney John Morgan disagrees with that sentiment.

“It’s not true, because if it was true, those people would be fired already; he needs those people,” Morgan said.

Morgan led the push to get Amendment 2 on the ballot and said the raise would be gradual, and that it wouldn’t hit $15 until 2026.

According to the amendment, each year would see an increase of a dollar.

“I didn’t want to surprise business owners, and go ‘Hey, we’re going from $8.57 to $15,’” Morgan said.

Dimov said he believes there’s more work to be done before November.

“John Morgan, I respect him, but I would ask him to do one thing: let’s sit down with business owners at my level, and let’s talk in a very simple way, how can I make it work," Dimov said.

University of Central Florida historian Jim Clark said this ballot measure is significant for a couple hundred thousand Floridians working at minimum wage.

He added it’ll be interesting to see the impact it has on voter turnout and the presidential election.

“Young people who are just turning a voting age are more likely to have minimum-wage jobs, and secondly, they are least likely to vote in their first election, so the question is will a couple hundred thousand extra people turn out to vote on Election Day to get a higher pay raise for themselves,” Clark said.

About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.