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.