Florida voters approved Amendment Two on Tuesday, raising the minimum wage to $10.00 per hour. The amendment will go into effect on September 30th, 2021. After that, the minimum wage will increase annually by $1.00 per hour until it reaches $15.00 in 2026. It will then continue to adjust each year after to account for inflation.
The Florida minimum wage is $8.56 currently. The increase is expected to benefit mostly adult women and people of color. Also, many teens and young adults are expected to be able to work fewer hours and have more time to focus on schoolwork instead of supporting themselves.
“Of course I support the idea of raising the minimum wage,” senior Annalee Swagerman said. “While I’m lucky enough to not be the main supporter in my family, a lot of teens are.”
The last time that Florida voted on changing the minimum wage was in 2004. Florida Amendment Five was approved and the minimum wage was raised to $6.15 per hour and was set to increase each year based on inflation. This is why the minimum raise grew to the present-day $8.56, with a 10¢ increase within the last year.
The goal of passing Florida For a Fair Wage was to ensure that all hard-working Floridians could receive a livable wage. Raising the wage is intended to cover the basic needs of all Florida citizens, as well as the needs of their family, without receiving any government assistance.
“It’s really difficult for mothers to put healthy food on the table,” Swagerman said. “While also balancing being a present, supportive figure in their child’s life.”