Amendment to increase minimum wage to $15 on this year’s ballot

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — This year, there’s a constitutional amendment on the ballot to increase Florida’s minimum wage to $15.

The increase would be a gradual move to $15 from $8.56 right now, to $10 next September and then $1 every other year until we got to $15 on Sept. 30, 2026.

READ: 9 things to know if you plan to vote by mail in Florida

If at least 60% of voters are for it, the ballot will pass.

John Morgan who founded the country’s largest personal injury firm, Morgan & Morgan, spearheaded the effort to get the amendment on the ballot.

“In Florida, if you’re a single mother of two, you’re going to make $17,000. There’s no way to make it on $17,000 a year,” said Matt Morgan, John Morgan’s son. “And so if we know it’s not sustainable, then we have to do something about it.”

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HDG Hotels, which is headquartered in Ocala, owns 19 properties across Central Florida.

Lisa Lombardo, who works for the company, said a mandated rate increase amid a pandemic would be catastrophic for many businesses.

“(If Amendment 2 passes, it) puts us in the position of having to either reduce hours further or, in the worst case scenario, lay folks off. And it could mean having to cut benefits,” she said. “If you say it’s just $1, $1 times 40 hours times 52 weeks, that’s $2,080. And you multiply that by how many team members you have, and you can see how quickly this adds up.”

Disney and Universal last year made the decision to get employee’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour.

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Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.