In a big win for just wages, 61% of Florida voters supported raising the state’s minimum wage (gradually) to $15 per hour.
Catholic Social Teaching holds that every worker deserves a living wage, and most everyone agrees that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour – less than $15,000 per year for a full-time worker – is not a living wage anywhere in the country. That’s why a growing number of states have opted to set a higher one, either by legislative action or by popular vote as in Florida. Indeed, as the Washington Post noted:
Minimum wage increases are typically popular among the electorate. Since 2000, states have held 21 referendums on the minimum wage, and all have passed, according to a tally kept by Ballotpedia. Public opinion surveys have shown broad support; a 2019 Pew survey found that two-thirds of Americans supported raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Florida’s current minimum wage is $8.56 per hour. The constitutional amendment just passed would phase in a series of step increases, with a $10 minimum taking effect in September 2021 and climbing to $15 per hour in 2026. More than 2 million low-income workers are expected to get a raise due to the amendment.