Update: Florida has become the first state in the South to vote yes on a $15 minimum wage.
Florida voters are weighing whether to increase the minimum wage.
On the ballot in Florida is Amendment 2, which would increase the state’s minimum wage from the current $8.56 to $15 by September 30, 2026. The change would be incremental, with employers being asked to increase wages, essentially, by $1 a year.
The move toward a $15 minimum wage has gained steam across the country in recent years and is now part of the Democratic Party’s platform. Currently, the federal minimum wage remains at just $7.25, but 29 states — including Florida — and Washington, DC, have a higher floor.
If Florida votes yes on Amendment 2, it would be the first state in the South and the eighth state in the country to move to $15. According to Fight for $15, a group that advocates on behalf of a $15 minimum wage, Virginia is the only Southern state that has increased its minimum wage recently, but to $12, not $15. The left-leaning Florida Policy Institute estimates that Amendment 2 would result in a wage increase for 2.5 million workers in Florida.
The conversation behind a $15 minimum wage is complicated, because while it would obviously lead to people being paid more, some business owners and politicians worry that it could cost jobs or result in higher costs for consumers. A 2019 study from the Congressional Budget Office estimated that a federal $15 minimum wage would lift 1.3 million people out of poverty but also cost the same amount of jobs. (Other economic studies have suggested the job loss risk is not that big.)
One of the problems with projecting what the impact of a $15 minimum wage will be is that not enough places have done it to see its consequences in practice. If Florida passes Amendment 2, it will be another case study.
Florida Amendment 2
A yes vote means Florida’s minimum wage will reach $15 by September 2026.
A no vote means Florida’s basic wage will remain at $8.56.