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It’s been a national debate for years and Floridians will be able to voice their opinions on the ballot when voting whether or not to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour in November.
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Amendment 2 outlines the state’s $15 minimum wage initiative, which plans to increase the minimum pay-per-hour rate incrementally through 2026.
How Florida will get to $15 minimum wage
The plan is to raise the wage from $8.56 an hour to $10 next September and bump it up a dollar each year following until reaching $15 in 2026.
Here’s what the minimum wage increase would look like each year, according to Ballotpedia.
- $10.00 on September 30, 2021
- $11.00 on September 30, 2022
- $12.00 on September 30, 2023
- $13.00 on September 30, 2024
- $14.00 on September 30, 2025
- $15.00 on September 30, 2026.
Beginning on Sept. 30, 2027, the state’s plan would be to have an annual adjustment to the state minimum wage based on increases to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
Ballot summary and what your vote means
The ballot summary provided by the state is as follows:
“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.”
A vote yes means one supports the initiative to increase the state’s minimum wage incrementally until reaching $15 per hour in September 2026.
A vote no rejects the initiative to increase the state’s minimum wage and thereby agrees to keep the current minimum wage of $8.46 per hour.
A supervote majority of 60% yes is required to adopt the amendment. It would change Section 24 of Article X in the Florida Constitution.
How it got on the ballot
Orlando trial attorney John Morgan led the effort to get Amendment 2 on the ballot, largely funding the petition drive himself. Morgan chairs the initiative’s sponsor organization, Florida for a Fair Wage.
To place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, proponents must collect signatures equal to 8% of the total number of votes cast in the last presidential election. For the 2020 general elections, advocates need to collect at least 766,200 signatures.
Proponents of the initiative say Florida’s current minimum wage isn’t livable nor does it align with the cost of living in the state.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association have voiced concerns saying the increase could lead to job losses, worker hours being cut and further strain to a state economy already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last time Florida voted on a minimum wage ballot measure was in 2004. Florida Amendment 5 was approved and provided for a $6.15 per hour minimum wage set to increase each year based on changes in the CPI-W or inflation.
As of 2020, at least five states passed legislation with the goal of establishing a $15 minimum wage to become effective incrementally, as outlined by the National Conference of Legislatures.
Ballotpedia records show if Amendment 2 is approved, Florida would become the first state to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour through a ballot measure.
Election Day is Nov. 3.