John Morgan launches full-throated campaign for minimum wage amendment
John Morgan is going all out for his minimum wage constitutional amendment.

John Morgan
“There is no doubt in my mind that is an uphill battle."

Orlando lawyer John Morgan has announced the formal launch of the campaign to push for passage of a new constitutional amendment raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Morgan is backing the political committee Florida for a Fair Wage, which is behind the proposed amendment. The group has already spent months working to acquire signatures to place the effort on the ballot. But they’re now shifting into the gear of trying to win over the public.

On Monday, Morgan announced the launch of a new website to help advocate for the amendment. The group’s Facebook and Twitter pages are now also online.

“There is no doubt in my mind that is an uphill battle,” Morgan said in an email to supporters.

“But just like there were hundreds of thousands of families with sick children or parents that needed medical marijuana, there are hundreds of thousands of Floridians earning the minimum wage that cannot afford to live in Florida. We must fight so that all Floridians can have the dignity of earning a fair wage for a hard day’s work.”

“I’m homeless and I have a job. How is that possible?” added Monique Ford, who works in the maintenance industry.

“I’m just one of many Floridians who are struggling to raise a family on the minimum wage. We all deserve fair wages for our hard work.”

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

The jump to $15 per hour wouldn’t happen immediately. The amendment would initially raise it 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 connection with inflation rates.

The measure needs at least 766,200 signatures to appear on the 2020 ballot. Morgan says the group is about 200,000 petitions short as of now.

Democratic consultant Ben Pollara, who is working to push the amendment, tweeted Monday that more than 1 million signatures have been collected. However, those signatures must still be verified, meaning the group may still have more work to do to meet the minimum number.

Monday also saw the announcement that Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ would be endorsing the amendment.

“SEIU 32BJ is committed to working with our members to pass the Fair Wage Amendment so we can ensure all Floridians can have the dignity of earning a living wage,” said Helene O’Brien, the group’s Florida Director.

“There are over 200,000 Floridians earning minimum wage. Many of them — like Monique Ford — simply cannot sustain a family on those wages.”

If the amendment does qualify to appear on the 2020 ballot, it would need 60 percent support from Floridians to go into effect. Early polling has shown mixed messages as to whether it will earn that 60 percent support.

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 [email protected]


5 comments

  • Casual Observer

    July 22, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    John–Call Bernie. He may be able to explain to you why it won’t work. On second thought, he probably doesn’t understand why, but he’ll confirm that it won’t. All it does is promote unemployment and, in that sense, misery. But, your new project will keep your name in the news, which is your ultimate goal, huh?

  • Dan Lanske

    July 22, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    If this guy really cared about the people of Florida, he would withdraw this amendment, and willingly pay his own employees at least $15/hr.

    This amendment would destroy the rural parts of north Florida, and the heartland, where the cost of living is significantly lower the where he lives in Orange County. Many counties in the northern part of the state are already struggling, we dont need any more economic pressures to put the small companies out of business. Many of the towns do not have the big retail chains that they have in the big urban counties of south Florida, that could afford a minimum wage hike. For many towns in the northern part of the state, all it is is Mom & Pop shops.

    I understand that Miami-Dade County is expensive, and the economics down there can arguably support a higher minimum wage, but please do not forget the rest of the state. Counties like Gilchrist, Jefferson, Bradford, Jackson etc… cannot support a $15/hr minimum wage. The local economies are just too different.

    This amendment is horribly thought out.

    A better push would be to have the Legislature change the law, so counties can institute a Local Minimum Wage that better reflects the local economy.
    Broward County and Citrus County are so different, they might as well be in 2 different states. Its almost asinine, to have the minimum wage be the same.

    Mr. John Morgan, withdraw the amendment. It is a bad idea.

  • gary

    July 22, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Mind your own business slime ball!

  • Alexander

    July 23, 2019 at 10:08 am

    The fair living comes due to inflation across the world and excuses are always there as to why the inflation is higher this or last year, lots of them are “oil precise increase, the interest rates are increasing, the weather is bad for a better crops, etc” It never stops. What do you think will happen with such a large min wage increase? A great excuse for even bigger inflation and in the end this will not fix anything. We need to control the inflation and greedy landlords, the greedy tax people wanting to tax more, the greedy oilers want to get more, that is the core of the problem.

  • Former Legal Assistant

    July 24, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I am curious as to what he pays his own staff – not the attorneys, but the secretaries and legal assistants. Agree that this would be disastrous to enact state-wide. As one poster pointed out, the variance of economic realities from the top to the bottom of the state vary dramatically.

Comments are closed.


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