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2020

Florida Chamber of Commerce, unsurprisingly, comes out against $15 minimum wage amendment

The state’s current minimum hourly wage is $8.56.

A top Florida Chamber of Commerce official spoke out Tuesday against Florida’s $15 minimum wage amendment and vowed to raise awareness about its “negative impacts.”

The amendment aims to raise Florida’s minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2021 and then raise it $1 a year until it reaches $15 in 2026.  The minimum wage after 2026 would then adjust annually for inflation.

FCC President and CEO Mark Wilson warned the amendment is not the “pathway for success.”

“Amendment 2 is bad for Florida and worse for Floridians,” Wilson said. “Equity gaps already exist in America, and in Florida. Amendment 2 would only serve to create larger gaps for entry level employees, many of whom are minorities, seniors, young adults and re-entry workers.

Amendment 2 will appear before voters in November and require a 60% supermajority vote to pass. In a news release, the FCC said it plans to unify Florida’s business community to help warn Floridians of the amendment’s unintended consequences.

The FCC has already spent much of the year creating a webpage, shareable graphics and a social media toolkit against the amendment.

The Chamber makes several points against Amendment 2. Among them, the Chamber claims, the amendment would cripple and even shutter many of the business already struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it argues Amendment 2 would dramatically affect Florida’s tourism industry.

According to the Chamber, tourism-related businesses were forced to lay off an average of 73% of their workforce over a three-week period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In these difficult times, we must work to secure Florida’s future and defeat this costly amendment which would create job loss, hurt local businesses, increase the cost of living for seniors, and drive good jobs elsewhere or even to automation,” Wilson added.

Proponents of the amendment, meanwhile, argue a higher wage would lift many workers out of poverty, increase consumerism and reduce dependency on social programs.

The state’s current hourly minimum hourly is $8.56.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Dan Lanske

    September 16, 2020 at 7:40 am

    In addition, the amount of businesses that WONT be created, due to the increase cost in startup capital needed would be untold. so many new businesses will never be created if this passes.

  2. arl

    September 16, 2020 at 7:49 am

    In addition to Dan’s comment: Restaurant menu prices have already risen considerably due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This will cause businesses to raise prices again – and consumers/customers will not go out; therefore, more business will close down. I, for one, will stop eating out. Example: I used to pay 8.99 for a hamburger, now the price is 11.99. I could go to the grocery store and buy 3 pounds of ground meat for that price and get at least 12 burgers! P.S. I have been leaving more than 20% tip that goes to the server.

  3. just sayin

    September 16, 2020 at 8:26 am

    While most of the chains would adapt, this would certainly kill off most local bars and restaurants. But a bunch of elites would feel good about themselves, so let’s make it happen!

  4. Ocean Joe

    September 16, 2020 at 11:44 am

    The Chamber controls the legislature. So even if it passes it will be knee capped. Like the class size amendment, the doc stamps revenue for purchase of sensitive lands, and the latest felon voting. So don’t get upset about it. The poor will stay poor. The people you see at the grocery store, the gas station, the convenience store will all stay invisible.

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