New poll shows Floridians back amendment to raise minimum wage
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More than 63 percent of Floridians say they'd support the measure.

More than 63 percent of Florida voters say they would support an amendment to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, according to a new survey from St. Pete Polls.

Proponents of the measure are pushing for it to appear on the 2020 ballot. A political committee called Florida For A Fair Wage, backed by Orlando lawyer John Morgan, is behind the ballot effort.

Florida’s minimum wage currently sits at $8.46 per hour. That’s more than a dollar above the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour.

The amendment would initially raise that number to $10 per hour starting in 2021. The minimum wage would then go up by $1 per hour each year until it hit $15 an hour in 2026.

Starting in 2027, the minimum wage would then rise in concert with inflation rates.

Florida voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment establishing a state minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage. The state minimum wage increases yearly because it is tied to inflation.

According to St. Pete Polls, Democrats easily approved the initiative, with 79 percent saying they would support it. Just 13 percent said they would not.

But even a plurality of Republicans backs the measure, with 47 percent supporting and 40 percent opposing. Among independents, 64 percent backed the measure with 23 percent opposing.

Amendments must garner no less than 60 percent approval to become part of the state constitution.

The survey consisted of 3,095 likely Florida general election voters and ran from June 15 and 16. The poll was conducted by using an automated phone call system and has a 1.8 percent margin of error.

In March, the amendment qualified for Supreme Court review after backers submitted the necessary amount of signatures to trigger a review.

The Supreme Court is tasked with reviewing the measure’s wording for clarity. If approved, the measure would need at least 766,200 signatures to appear on the 2020 ballot.

The Court announced Tuesday it was skipping the oral argument phase of the review, as it did not receive any briefs on the wording issue. Opponents of the amendment had until May 28 to file their briefs, with Morgan’s group having until June 17 to respond. But no opposing briefs were filed.

Florida For A Fair Wage raised more than $800,000 in the latest fundraising reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections. The group has raised more than $2.3 million overall. According to the most recent tallies, more than 281,000 signatures supporting the measure have been submitted.

A previous survey from St. Pete Polls had the measure just under the 60 percent support required for passage.

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Background from The News Service of Florida, republished with permission.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.


4 comments

  • gary

    June 19, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Sounds like another #FakePoll.

    Here is my vote: NO MINIMUM WAGE!

    Why: Minimum wage is price fixing! Price fixing is illegal!

    What would be the outcome of no minimum wage? Without a minimum wage, employers would have no reference point at which to justify their base wage. Forcing supply and demand to expose the true value of the position.

    The obvious arehuement: Employers will then underpay.
    I speculate: Employees will ask for more because the bar is no longer set.

  • Marcus

    June 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Raising minimum just speeds up inflation! And rewards crappy workers for subpar work.

  • Rob Yago

    June 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    This is a dangerous proposition, especially in Florida. As a native Floridian, I have spent my entire 37 years here. Over 20 years in the workforce.

    Florida has traditionally been carried by it’s construction and labor force. Times may be changing and tech fields are slowly gaining ground here, but growth in Florida is still dominated by commercial and residential expansion.

    Construction, skilled and unskilled manual labor and other “Sweat of the Brow” careers are what the majority of regular folks practice to make good wages for hard work.

    An apprentice electrician, plumber, A/C technician, roofer, carpenter, or mason can expect to start at maybe around $12. Not blockbuster wages, but much higher than minimum wage and a good place to start with the hopes of gaining valuable experience in a construction field.

    However, the work is hot, brutal labor. In the summer months, it is borderline torture and is certainly not the kind of work meant for the unmotivated.

    Which brings me to the danger of a $15 minimum wage. If this passes into law, who in their right mind would suffer in the Florida heat for the same $15 that they could make at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart?

    The wages of an experienced tradesman certainly eclipse the wages of a longterm fast food or convenience store employee, but how many young people are willing to apprentice for 5 to 10 years in the brutal Florida heat to reach $20 to $30 an hour as an experienced tradesman?

    This is truly a dangerous proposition for the future growth of Florida and it’s economy. Where is the incentive for young people, or anyone for that matter, to do the hard work that currently pays better wages, when a person can walk into Burger King and make comparible wages?

  • Phil

    June 20, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Ridiculous, let’s drive up the inflation so that anyone making more than $15 let’s say $20 would be the equivalent of a pay cut.
    2nd EMT and PCT Techs make about $12 an hour they’ll get raised up to $15 with a burger flipper.so how is a person that got an education and actually responsible for people’s lives deserves the same pay rate as a low to no skill worker?

Comments are closed.


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