Minimum wage fight expected to be close

Voting yes on Amendment 2 to boost Florida’s minimum wage will either give 2.5 million workers a pay raise or result in 158,000 jobs disappearing over the next few years.

The proposed incremental increase to $15 an hour will greatly reduce the number of households living in poverty and narrow pay gaps experienced by women and people of color. Or the measure will slow economic growth as Florida comes out of the coronavirus pandemic and create long-term effects from which the state might never recover.

While the opposing camps on Amendment 2 offer those dramatically different pictures about what will happen if the minimum-wage measure passes, political experts anticipate that the outcome of the vote on the proposed amendment — one of six on the Nov. 3 ballot — will be close.

Supporters need to win approval from 60% of voters to increase the minimum wage, a proposal spearheaded by prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan.

Aubrey Jewett, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida’s School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs, said “when push comes to shove a lot of people will vote for it because they believe on balance it will help average working people.”

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