Southern Poverty Law Center invests big in effort to hike Florida’s minimum wage

minimum wage

The campaign to raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour has received an injection of campaign cash and grassroots support with the news that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Action Fund is contributing $250,000 to the effort.

“I’m proud to welcome SPLC Action Fund to this important fight,” John Morgan, the chairman for Florida For a Fair Wage, said in a written statement.

“They have been on the right side when it comes to issues like legalizing medical marijuana and giving formerly incarcerated people the right to vote after they have served their sentences. Having them working with us shows that there is a strong and growing consensus that all Floridians deserve to earn a living wage.”

Odds seem good the minimum wage proposal will appear on the November 2020 ballot. According to the Division of Elections website, Florida For a Fair Wage has submitted more 760,000 signatures. A total of 766,200 certified signatures are required by next February to get on the ballot, along approval from the Florida Supreme Court.

The justices will decide whether the ballot language accurately makes known the chief purposes of the amendment, and whether it complies with the state’s single-subject rule for citizen initiatives.

Florida’s minimum wage is $8.46 now. Under the proposed constitutional amendment, it would go up incrementally by $1 every year, starting at $10 in September 2021 and rising to $15 in 2026. After that, future minimum wage increases would occur based on inflation.

A 2004 constitutional amendment that raised the minimum age in Florida in 2004 to $6.15 an hour also contained an inflation adjustment. That proposal won support from 72 percent of Florida voters. If the new proposal makes it on the ballot next year, it would need 60 percent support at the polls.

The Florida Retail Federation and the Florida Chamber of Commerce are already on the record as opposing such an increase.

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with FloridaPolitics.com. He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.

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