Sarasota Rep. Tommy Gregory on Tuesday joined the fight against a constitutional amendment that would mandate a $15 minimum wage in Florida.
In a news release, the Republican lawmaker announced the creation of More Jobs and Better Wages political committee. The committee aims to raise public awareness on the economic “dangers” of Amendment 2 ahead of the November election.
“The dangers of enshrining a $15 minimum wage in our state’s constitution cannot be overstated,” Gregory said. “More than half a million jobs for young people, seniors, and others looking to gain new skills at any point in their lives will be in jeopardy. Business owners will face skyrocketing labor costs that will force many to close their doors for good, putting even more people out of work.”
Amendment 2 would incrementally increase the mandatory minimum wage in Florida to $15 an hour by 2026. The amendment is spearheaded by lawyer John Morgan and will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. It requires 60% voter approval to pass.
While proponents of the amendment argue a higher minimum wage would lift thousands out of poverty and reduce social program dependency, critics counter that a wage hike will create a slew of negative, unintended consequences.
The committee described Amendment 2’s promised benefits as “facile.”
“It is imperative that Florida voters understand that voting Yes on Amendment 2 is a vote for increasing consumer costs and hardship for Florida senior citizens on fixed incomes,” Gregory continued. “A mandated minimum wage may sound good at first, but it will end up hurting the very workers it purports to help.”
The committee highlighted that no state has passed a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage as high as $15 per hour. They also warned the amendment will reduce hours for workers and ultimately lead to automation.
Florida’s minimum wage is $8.46 per hour, 18% higher than the federal minimum wage.