A political committee released a new ad on Tuesday, warning Floridians to consider the $15 minimum wage amendment’s fine print before voting yes.
The 18-second ad by Save Florida Jobs cites ballot language associated with Amendment 2 that warns of higher taxes and loss of government services if passed.
“State and local government costs will increase to comply with the new minimum wage levels,” the full ballot language reads. “Additional annual wage costs will be approximately $16 million in 2022, increasing to about $540 million in 2027 and thereafter. Government actions to mitigate these costs are unlikely to produce material savings.”
It continues: “This proposed constitutional amendment is estimated to have a net negative impact on the state budget. This impact may result in higher taxes or a loss of government services.”
The attack ad comes less than three weeks before Florida voters will decide on Amendment 2. If passed, the amendment would bump the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2021. It would then rise $1 each year until it hits $15 in 2026.
Notably, the amendment has drawn sharp criticism from GOP lawmakers, business leaders and others who say the proposal will do more harm than good, particularly in the era of COVID-19.
In early October, Republican Party of Florida Chairman and Sen. Joe Gruters and future House Speaker Chris Sprowls warned that wage hikes are failed policies that are evident in “liberal cities” such as Seattle, Washington D.C. and Chicago.
Separately, Rep. Tommy Gregory described the amendment as a “voter turnout trick” deployed deliberately during a presidential election year.
Meanwhile, the amendment’s proponents argue a higher minimum wage would lift thousands out of poverty and reduce social program dependency.
Amendment 2 is spearheaded by John Morgan, a prominent attorney who has poured millions into the amendment. He called Florida’s current $8.56 minimum wage a “slave wage” in late September at a forum.
The constitutional amendment will require at least 60% approval from voters to pass.