November 3, 2020

Statement on Amendment 2 Passage and State Policy Landscape

This post was last updated on December 8, 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.

Florida voters said ‘yes’ to Amendment 2, making Florida the eighth state to pass a $15 per hour minimum wage. Floridians are making clear that it’s time to move the needle on shared prosperity: the amendment will reduce historical pay inequities experienced by women and people of color and increase the income of more than 1 in 4 Florida workers, as our recent report shows. Voters across the state recognize that it’s a critical time to boost pay for working families.

And although the national landscape remains uncertain, our priorities on the state level remain the same: removing systemic barriers to economic mobility in Florida and ensuring that those benefiting the most from our economy pay their share.

The COVID-19 crisis and economic recession have disproportionately impacted Floridians already struggling to make ends meet. Millions of households could not afford necessities — rent, child care, groceries, and the like — before the pandemic, and even for Floridians who were just getting by with enough to pay for the basics, one major life event, like a job layoff or hospitalization, could lead to financial catastrophe.

That’s why the 2021 Florida Legislature must preserve critical budget priorities, like affordable health care, while implementing revenue-raising solutions to balance the budget. Our state spends billions annually on corporate tax breaks, with little to no oversight or regular evaluation as to whether or not there is any return on investment.

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