Minimum wage hike takes effect


Minimum wage workers in Florida will get a voter-approved pay boost this week.

After
just over 60 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment in
November, the stateÂ’s minimum wage will go from $8.65 an hour — about
$18,000 a year for a full-time worker — to $10 on Thursday, with the
rate for tipped workers moving up from $5.63 an hour to $6.98 an hour.

Under
the constitutional amendment, the rate will increase incrementally each
year until reaching $15 an hour — $11.98 for tipped workers — on
Sept. 30, 2026.

The measure maintains a $3.02 tip credit that employers can apply to tipped workers.

Prominent
Orlando attorney John Morgan spearheaded the constitutional amendment,
pouring millions of dollars into its passage. Supporters said it was
needed to help low-paid workers. Also, for example, state Rep. Anna
Eskamani, D-Orlando, argued last year it will help counter an
“anti-worker” agenda by Republican leaders and business groups in
Tallahassee.

But
the amendment faced opposition from Republican leaders, such as state
GOP Chairman Joe Gruters, a Sarasota senator, and House Speaker Chris
Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor. Among other things, they said it would hurt
small businesses.

The
change also was opposed by business groups, including the Florida
Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging
Association.