In 2020’s general election, there is much more to vote on than just the President of the United States.
There are six ballot measures up for vote, each needing a 60 percent majority of voters to pass. Amendment 2 on the ballot proposes raising the state’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour.
As it stands, Florida’s minimum wage is set at $8.56, which is higher than the federal wage. If passed, the amendment would increase the minimum wage to $10 by September 30th, 2021. The wage would increase $1 every year until 2026 when the wage would be set at $15.
Raising the wage has been part of a nationwide conversation, even mentioned at last week’s presidential debate. President Donald Trump claimed forcing small businesses to raise their wage pay would be detrimental, especially in the age of COVID-19. Meanwhile, former Vice-President Joe Biden says it’s necessary to keep people from below the poverty line, adding many experts suggest raising the minimum wage does not directly lead to killing jobs.
Anthony Barber, the owner of Troy’s Barbecue in Boynton Beach, says he’s still undecided about Amendment 2.
“I think that there should be a wage pay that takes people out of the poverty line,” he said. “But in businesses like McDonald’s or Troy’s, or Burger King, or Chipotle, that are entry-level positions, you kind of have to taper it back for it to make sense for people to get experience in the job force.”
Barber says the biggest challenge would be figuring out how to afford the wage increase adjustment.
“If I’m paying a manager $25 an hour, if I’m paying an entry-level person $9 an hour, I’m probably gonna have to go up across the board $7,” he said.