Most voters support $15 minimum wage ballot measure


People gather together to ask the McDonald’s corporation to raise workers wages to a $15 minimum wage as well as demanding the right to a union on May 23, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

About two-thirds of Florida voters back a 2020 ballot initiative to gradually hike the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, which would be enough support for the measure to pass, a new poll released Tuesday found.

In the Sunshine State, 67% of registered voters said they would vote to raise the pay floor to $15 an hour, according to the Monmouth University survey. Only 26% responded that they would oppose the initiative. 

The measure needs 60% of the vote for approval. If voters pass it in November, Florida would increase its $8.56-an-hour minimum wage to $10 next year. The state would then hike it by $1 an hour every year until it hits $15 in 2026.

Previous surveys have also found the minimum wage initiative clearing the 60% support threshold for passage. 

Seven states and Washington, D.C., have approved a $15-per-hour pay floor as labor advocates push for what they call a living wage. Florida, if it approves the ballot measure, would become the second most populous state to take that step. 

Workers’ rights groups have cheered state and local policies to increase the minimum wage, as the federal government has not increased the $7.25 an hour pay floor in more than a decade. Democrats have almost universally embraced raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and the House passed a bill to do so at the federal level last year. Republican leaders in the GOP-held Senate have opposed the legislation.

Business groups in Florida opposed the ballot measure even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The state’s chamber of commerce now argues passing the wage increases would hurt small businesses struggling to recover from the outbreak. The first hike would take place in September 2021. 

John Morgan, a well-known Florida personal injury attorney who advocated for a 2016 ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana, put millions of dollars into efforts to get a $15-an-hour minimum wage on Florida’s ballot this year. 

Monmouth’s poll Tuesday also found Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by a 50% to 45% margin in Florida. 

The survey of 428 registered voters, taken by telephone Thursday through Sunday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. 

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