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SPLC Action Fund: Minimum wage increase will lift wages for millions, help get people out of poverty

Tallahassee, Fla. -- On Tuesday millions of Florida voters went to the polls and approved a constitutional amendment that will raise the minimum wage in Florida to $15 an hour. The SPLC Action Fund supported efforts to raise the minimum wage and partnered with Florida for a Fair Wage to get the initiative passed. 
 
The current minimum wage is $8.46 an hour and the constitutional amendment would raise the minimum wage to $10 in September, 2021, with the minimum wage then increasing by a dollar every year until it reaches $15 in 2026. After that, future minimum wage increases would occur based on inflation, just like Florida’s constitution currently requires. 
 
While opponents have argued that a higher minimum wage will hurt workers, research has shown that isn’t the case, with the vast majority of workers benefiting from an increased minimum wage. 
 
The following is a statement from Carrie Boyd, Florida policy counsel for the SPLC Action Fund.
 
“There are hundreds of thousands of hard working Floridians living in poverty, many of them low-income women from communities of color. The new wage structure will give people a chance to lead a more economically stable life.
 
“With so many people now unemployed due to COVID-19, we need to focus on the creation of jobs that pay better as we try to recover from the damage this pandemic has inflicted. The increase will also encourage more people to come to Florida for employment.”