Voters who approved boosting the minimum wage likely won’t support FL Senate President’s comments

Minimum wage workers. PBS screenshot.

A ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage incrementally until it reaches $15 per hour in 2026 received some pushback Tuesday from a top state lawmaker during the opening of the 2021 legislative session.

In his opening day speech, Senate President Wilton Simpson touched on Amendment 2, which was narrowly approved by voters on the ballot in 2020. Simpson appeared to be unconcerned about the schedule set for implementing the minimum wage boosts.

As it stands now, Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour on September 30. Each September 30th thereafter, the minimum wage shall increase by $1.00 per hour until it reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30th, 2026.

“The voters recently approved a constitutional amendment demanding us to raise the minimum wage – and they gave us a timeline to implement it. But just because they gave us the time doesn’t mean we ought to take it,” Simpson said.

“I would like this year’s budget to provide increases to our lowest paid workers. It’s one more way to honor these blue-collar workers who are laboring every day to provide for their families.”

But advocates for the higher wages approved by voters are waiting to see an increase in the minimum wage in September.

“Wilton Simpson is just wrong…it requires zero implementation from the Florida Legislature,” Ben Pollara, campaign manager of Florida For A Fair Wage, said in a phone conversation with the Florida Phoenix.

Future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30th, 2027.

Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.