Florida residents propose $15 minimum wage

by Paul Garilao, ABS-CBN News

PENSACOLA, FL — The $15 minimum wage initiative is set to appear on the ballot in Florida, as a constitutional amendment during the national elections on November 2020.

According to the proposal, the minimum wage of $8.46 will jump to $10 on September 2021, and will increase one dollar every year until it reaches $15 on September of 2026.

If the proposal will carry out on 2021, the initial $1.54 dollar boost will add an extra $740 annually for low wage workers.

In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump highlighted that wages across the states are rising at the fastest pace in decades.

He says it is growing for blue-collar workers, whom he promised to fight for.

“Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps flash…. the US economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”

Meanwhile, Orlando lawyer John Morgan believes the exact opposite: that blue-collar workers still struggle in paying their bills. He cited that 40 percent of America has less than $400 in their banks.

Filipinos in Florida share mixed reactions to the proposal.

Food worker Desiree Reynes says she wants to use the extra money to help her relatives in the Philippines.

While workers are delighted with the proposal, small business owners are more apprehensive.

“If you own a small retail business, you are relying on your sales productivity, in order to cover the overhead.”

“Say, all across the board 10 percent needs to be raised upper wages, according to the businesses gross income, then that makes sense.”

It is a tug of war. For Filipino Floridians, the rise of minimum wage is a sigh of relief to compensate the rising costs of their daily goods. But for small business owners it is a chain reaction that would lead them to increase their product sales.

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