Prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan announced Monday in Miami the formal launch of Florida for a Fair Wage, a campaign to raise the minimum wage in Florida via a 2020 citizens-initiated ballot initiative.
Morgan's committee said in a press statement, the attorney's Fair Wage amendment would increase the minimum wage by slightly more than $1 an hour to $10 per hour in 2021, then increase the hourly pay by $1 per hour each year until it gradually reaches $15 per hour in 2026. After 2026, Florida’s minimum wage would increase with the rate of inflation, just as the state’s Constitution currently requires. Florida’s current minimum wage is $8.46 per hour.
In an email to supporters, Morgan said, “There is no doubt in my mind that is an uphill battle. But just like there were hundreds of thousands of families with sick children or parents that needed medical marijuana, there are hundreds of thousands of Floridians earning the minimum wage who cannot afford to live in Florida. We must fight so that all Floridians can have the dignity of earning a fair wage for a hard day's work.
Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ has endorsed the Fair Wage Amendment.
“SEIU 32BJ is committed to working with our members to pass the Fair Wage Amendment so we can ensure all Floridians can have the dignity of earning a living wage," said Helene O'Brien, SEIU 32BJ’s Florida director. “There are over 200,000 Floridians earning minimum wage. Many of them - like Monique Ford - simply cannot sustain a family on those wages,” added O'Brien.
“I’m homeless and I have a job. How is that possible?” said Monique Ford, a cleaner for Coastal Building Maintenance and mother-to-be. “I’m just one of many Floridians who are struggling to raise a family on the minimum wage. We all deserve fair wages for our hard work.”
In order to appear on the 2020 ballot, Florida for a Fair Wage needs to collect and verify 766,200 petitions from registered Florida voters. According to the Division of Elections, 363,157 petitions have been verified so far. In the email, John Morgan said, “We still need to collect another 200,000 petitions.”
Florida for a Fair Wage’s mission is to guarantee a living wage for all Floridians. Attorney John Morgan is Chairman of the organization.