Many U.S. workers and businesses will be watching Florida closely on Election Day, and not just for its decisive role in selecting a president: A high
Many U.S. workers and businesses will be watching Florida closely on Election Day, and not just for its decisive role in selecting a president: A higher minimum wage is also on the ballot.
Floridians vote on a proposal to lift the state’s wage floor to $15 by 2026, from the current $8.56 an hour. The measure, if successful, would make Florida the eighth state to adopt an eventual $15-an-hour pay floor, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The increase could arrive as workers and small businesses are still reeling from the coronavirus and its effects on local economies.
While the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009, most states have set higher levels. Florida’s minimum is above neighbors Georgia and Alabama, which follow the federal rate.
Voters in states from Arizona to South Dakota have approved higher minimum wages in recent years, but far fewer states have adopted plans to lift the wage floor to $15, the level endorsed by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Most states that have, including California, New Jersey and Illinois, are governed by Democrats. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a Republican.
Florida is “a diverse, huge state that’s heavily reliant on tourism,” said Alexis Davis, a policy analyst with the Florida Policy Institute, a think tank that has recommended a higher minimum wage. “If we can make it work, that would be a signal to the rest of the country,” she said.