Sadaf Knight
September 30, 2021

Statement from Florida Policy Institute on Minimum Wage Increase

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

The passage of Amendment 2 back in November was a victory for working Floridians, and as we find ourselves at this first increase in a series of gradual hikes to the minimum wage, we are reminded once again that Florida voters broadly support fairer pay and want to see their communities thrive.
More than one in four Sunshine State residents will benefit under the $15-per-hour minimum wage after it’s fully implemented in 2026, including as many as 646,000 Floridians who should see their wages increase during the initial phase-in to $10 per hour. This will help lift households out of poverty and reduce pay inequities long experienced by women, people of color, and immigrants.

We also estimate that Florida will see about $577 million in new sales tax revenue by 2026 — upwards of $36 million in this first phase-in alone — that can be invested in affordable health care, job training programs, and other crucial areas of the budget.

However, there is still work to be done in terms of enforcing the minimum wage. After Florida saw an increase in the minimum wage in 2005, the rate of minimum wage violations doubled within two years, according to a joint report by Florida Policy Institute and Rutgers University’s Center for Innovation in Worker Organization. This same analysis found that the minimum wage has been largely unenforced in Florida for over a decade.

Florida policymakers can ensure that working Floridians are being paid what they’re owed and safeguard the revenue gains expected from the minimum wage hike by reintroducing a State Department of Labor equipped with the resources and resolve needed to enforce this new wage and other wage laws.

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Raising the Minimum Wage

Raising the minimum wage will improve equity and the quality of life in Florida

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