E. Eugene Webb PhD
There are probably a lot of people in Florida, who think the battle for the minimum wage increasing to $15.00 an hour has been resolved by the recent election victory.
Amendment 2 increases the State's current $8.56 minimum wage to $10 next September after that the minimum wage goes up $1 each year until it reaches $15.00 an hour in September of 2026. After that the minimum wage then increases with annual inflation using the same formula that it does now.
Sounds simple doesn't it?
The battle to increase the minimum wage is just beginning.
While it would appear that the amendment is pretty clear, the final implementation of the increases to the current minimum wage will be established by the Florida Legislature.
Think of the nightmare the recent marijuana legalization amendment created, the circus that ensued in the Florida legislature, and the resulting patchwork quilt of nightmare regulations and rules starting the legalization of marijuana.
The marijuana amendment implementation will probably look like child's play compared to what the Republican legislature will likely do regarding raising the minimum wage.
The first shots are already being fired. Check out this editorial By Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board How Florida wound up with a $15 minimum wage | Editorial.
During the election, there was a great hue and cry from small businesspeople regarding how this would impact their business, their hiring, their current employees and the prices, they charge the public. Well, doubtless if you gradually must pay your employees more, you have to get that money from somewhere and the only place is your customer base.
The Tampa Bay Times Editorial points out how the amendment was passed by a select number of counties strongly supporting it. The Times editorial begins the argument against the minimum wage increase with an assumption that there should be a geographic variance in the application of the minimum wage.
You're going to hear a lot of these arguments that jump right to the $15 mark for the minimum wage. In fact, if you go back up and look at the first paragraph or so of this post you will notice that the implementation of the minimum wage occurs over an extended period of time.
If you want to get just a hint of who is likely to oppose the implementation of the $15 minimum wage in Florida, check out Florida Small business Published by Florida Trend Trade Associations for Florida Business.
The people who worked so hard and invested so much to get this amendment passed such as the likes of John Morgan of Morgan and Morgan, need to be ready to step up and fight for the appropriate implementation of the amendment in the Legislature.
There will be a lot of campaign money flowing into the coffers of state legislators as the implementation of this amendment begins to unfold, a lot of threats to support and a lot of threats to withhold support.
You will probably see an enormous amount of advertising regarding the minimum wage issue. As people in both small business and large business attempt to lay the groundwork, for making the implementation of this very appropriate amendment as difficult as possible.
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