SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The New Year is just a few days away, and that means new laws will go into effect starting next Wednesday.
One of the biggest changes? The minimum wage in Florida will be raised. The state’s minimum wage is $8.46 per hour and $5.44 per hour for tipped employees, and starting next year it’ll go up 10 cents. On Main Street Sarasota, Lazaro Morera spends his time painting the city’s landmarks from the Gator Club to the Unconditional Surrender statue. While he works for himself, he still believes minimum wage should go up. “I want it to be more money,” he said.
That’s exactly what will happen on January 1st. Back in 2004, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that increases the minimum wage every year based on inflation. In 2020, it’s going up 1.12%.
“I think it’s somewhat a step in the right direction,” said Nick Claize.
But in November, voters will cast their ballots on a proposal that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. According to MIT’s living calculator, in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties, a person would have to make $12.16 an hour to be at a livable wage, and $25.07 an hour if they had a child to support as well. And many like Morera, agree with this increase. While others are torn. “I think they need to be realistic on what the job entails and how much we can compensate for that,” said Claize.
This proposal will be on the ballot as Amendment 2. If it passes, the minimum wage will start at $10 an hour on September 2021, and it will go up a dollar every year until the year 2026.