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No ‘poverty’ here: Liberal group chips in $250,000 for fair wage fight

Florida voters will decide next year.

In terms of the fight for a $15 minimum wage, which Florida voters could decide next year, one liberal group is putting its money where its mouth is.

The Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund announced Thursday a $250,000 donation to the Florida for a Fair Wage political committee.

“I’m proud to welcome SPLC Action Fund to this important fight,” said Florida for a Fair Wage Chairman John Morgan.

“They have been on the right side when it comes to issues like legalizing medical marijuana and giving formerly incarcerated people the right to vote after they have served their sentences. Having them working with us shows that there is a strong and growing consensus that all Floridians deserve to earn a living wage.”

Emily Early, staff attorney for the Economic Justice Project at the SPLC Action Fund, said that while “there was a point where you could make a living on the minimum wage … [now] the $8.46 minimum wage in Florida will not pull an individual out of poverty even if they’re working 40 hours a week. And if you’re trying to support a family, it’s even more difficult.”

While some claim that the minimum wage was “never meant to be a living wage,” but was a “training wage,” that assertion doesn’t track with the lived experience of many.

As of the end of August, the Florida for a Fair Wage committee had raised and spent roughly $4.5 million, the vast majority of that money from Morgan and his law firm.

September fundraising is not in, but the SPLC Action Fund check is the first meaningful contribution from outside the Morgan empire.

The initiative is all but certain to be on the Nov. 2020 ballot, with over 760,000 of the requisite 766,200 signatures verified.

It will require 60 percent support to become part of the Constitution.

Reaching the 766,200 threshold will not be a surprise.

Democratic consultant Ben Pollara, who is working to push the amendment, tweeted weeks ago that more than 1 million signatures had been collected.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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