On November 3rd, 2020, over 60 percent of Florida voters approved Amendment 2, which gradually increases the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. Florida’s current minimum wage ($8.56) will increase to $10 an hour in September 2021 and will then increase a dollar each year until 2026. After September 2027, the minimum wage will be adjusted annually to keep pace with the cost of living.
Florida is now the eighth state in the country to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, joining California, Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. It is the first state in the South to do so.
Green America’s Green Business Network joined Business for a Fair Minimum Wage in support of the measure. Business leaders like Florida Eco Products, Dr. Bronner’s, Equal Exchange, DeLand Bakery, Blue Moon Construction, and Performance Sports Nutrition are just a handful of more than 160 companies to demonstrate support for Amendment 2 leading up to the election.
Raising Florida’s low minimum wage is a win for workers and consumers alike. To recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, grocery workers, healthcare aides, restaurant staff, and other Floridians need a wage that will support the cost of living and boost the economy. Additionally, low pay usually means high employee turnover. Increasing pay means lower turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, increased productivity, and better customer service.
The passing of Amendment 2 in Florida gives hope to better wage advocates in other states. Especially amidst the economic fallout of the pandemic, where cost of living continues to increase despite high unemployment rates and stagnated job growth.
“Today, Floridians voted for a shared economic recovery,” says Milana Walter, Business Campaign Manager for Florida Business for a Fair Minimum Wage in a press release. “Amendment 2 will gradually raise the minimum wage, giving businesses time to adjust and benefit from increases as they phase in. This ballot initiative is good news for Florida.”