An effort to let Florida voters decide whether to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour is close to reaching a key milestone.
The Florida for Fair Wage campaign has collected 731,215 validated voter signatures as of Monday, just short of the 766,200 signatures that will be needed to place the state constitutional amendment on next year’s general-election ballot, according to the state Division of Elections.
In addition, the campaign is also close to meeting the requirement that the signatures reflect at least 8 percent of the voters in the last presidential election in at least 14 of the state’s 27 congressional districts. The campaign has achieved that total in at least 13 districts as of Monday, the state elections records show.
The amendment language must also still pass a legal review by the Florida Supreme Court before it can reach the 2020 ballot.
Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan is the chief proponent of the measure. And Morgan, who successfully led a 2016 campaign to amend the state Constitution to allow medical marijuana, is bankrolling the effort. He and has his law firm have spent more than $4.5 million on the campaign through the end of August, election records show.
If approved by 60 percent of the voters, the amendment would increase Florida’s current $8.46-an-hour minimum wage to $10 in 2021. Then the hourly rate would rise by $1 a year until reaching $15 in 2026. In subsequent years, the minimum wage would rise based on an inflation index.