Biden uses Florida in his bid to push for $15 minimum wage hike

Raising the minimum wage is one of President-elect Joe Biden’s top priorities.

Biden recently used Florida as an example that the nation should raise the minimum wage.

In November Florida voters passed amendment two which calls for our state to raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars by 2026, starting with a hike to $10 this September. Voters approved the raise by almost 60%.

“No one working 40 hours a week should still be below the poverty line,” Biden said recently. “That’s what it means. If you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you’re living in poverty.”

The President-elect says if Florida can do it, the rest of the nation can do it and maybe faster than 2026. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.

“People tell me that’s going to be hard to pass. Florida just passed it. As divided as that state is, they just passed it. The rest of the country is ready to move as well,” Biden said.

Tom Smythe, an economist with Florida Gulf Coast University, disagrees. Smythe said the increase will be bad for Florida and for the rest of the country if it passes.

“The problem is small business and large employers aren’t likely to be able to absorb that,” he said.

Small businesses will have to hire less people or increase prices for goods and services.

“I know what I just described will not come cheaply. But failing to do so will cost us dearly,” Biden said.

But, Smythe said cost is half of Biden’s problem. The other half is getting Congress to agree.

It could come to pass with Democrats controlling the House and the Senate. But expect a fight because not all Democrats agree on a $15 minimum wage hike.

 

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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