FLORIDA (CW44 News At 10) – Hoping to sway last minute voters, one advocacy group points out the negative impact to Florida if Amendment two is passed.
Last week Florida workers shared their perspective with the CW44 News at 10 on amendment two on the Florida ballot to raise the minimum wage. Workers making minimum wage across Florida are protesting current wages in hopes to convince last minute voters to mark their ballot in favor of amendment two on Florida’s ballot come Tuesday.
“I’m out here today so you guys can go vote for amendment two. I’m a single mother out here struggling, so I’m hoping that if you’re a single mother or father out there struggling with kids, that you will vote for $15 an hour,” said an advocate for Fight for $15.
The amendment would raise the minimum wage from $8.56 to $15 an hour over time.
This week, we spoke with policy advocacy organization, Americans for Prosperity, which says it’s not as glamorous as it may seems at first look. The group opposes that amendment and says it could cost hundreds of thousands of Floridians their jobs.
They’ve been in contact now with over a million families about the amendment and educating voters on what the passing of it would mean for workers small businesses and the economy.
“We want people to make as much money as possible because it’s good for everybody. But when you’re requiring it, when the government is forcing someone to pay somebody else more than what the market dictates, what ends up happening is, either prices go up, people lose their jobs because they can’t employ as many people,” said Skylar Zander, State Director for AFP-FL.
According to a September study from Florida economists, Florida workers will lose more than 150,000 jobs over the next five years.
But AFP Florida has concentrated on telling people about this amendment before they head to the voting booth.
“It does sound great to people because people genuinely want to see others successful and flourish and that’s why people probably support amendment to raise the minimum-wage, but we have to tell the other side of the story,” said Zander.
Zander says the hospitality industry consisting of waitresses and bartenders are among those who could suffer from a minimum wage hike.
“Passing amendment two and raising the minimum wage is actually going to hurt me because I as a tips worker I am now not going to have the ability to receive the tips that I would traditionally receive which means I am going to make less,” he said.
And that it would also have a major impact on Florida’s main source of income.
“There’s no doubt that this amendment is going to disproportionately hurt the tourism industry here in Florida, the very industry that is struggling right now because of COVID-19 said Zander. “Right now because of Covid, people are afraid to travel and so you couple that with on top of raising the minimum wage, which is essentially a tax on small businesses, more businesses are going to shut down. They’re going to have to either lay off employees, they’re going to have to cut back employees time, which we’ve seen a great deal as well, or what’s going to happen is there going to raise prices astronomically which will price them out of the market.”
But regardless of political party, he says it’s an issue that could impact everyone.
“You know, this isn’t a right or left issue. This is not a great amendment and we need to do more to educate Floridians about how detrimental this issue could be,” said Zander.
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