Businesses worry, workers cheer as passed amendment will raise minimum wage

Florida voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment that would raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 by 2026. 

Despite passing with 60 percent of the vote, some businesses are not happy. Some small business owners are worried while struggling workers think it's the start of a brighter future.

"This is something monumental, we've made history once again," Alex Harris, an Amendment 2 advocate, told FOX 35. Workers celebrated on Tuesday night after the amendment passed. 

However, Faith Booker, who works at McDonald's and Burger King, says that this is still not enough. She said that "I'm currently making $9.70 at McDonald's and another $8.56 an hour at BK. The two together just isn't enough to make ends meets."

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Lawyer John Morgan spoke about the passed amendment on Wednesday, stating that "what we did yesterday was immediately improve the lives of 2.5 million households."

Then, there are small businesses, who say it will cost them dearly, especially during a pandemic, when businesses are already hurting. They think this will lead to them hiring fewer workers and passing extra costs onto consumers.

Bill McInvale of Dealer Services said that "it needs to work under the best of circumstances, as well as the worst of circumstances. And right now, small businesses, particularly in our area, they're struggling."

Experts disagree on whether it will help or hurt in the long run. 

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Dr. Sean Snaith of the University of Central Florida (UCF) said that "if it was that easy to pass an amendment or wave a magic wand and raise everybody's income, that would be great. The reality is market forces weren't on the ballot."

Alexis David of the Florida Policy Institute added that "economists have demonstrated that individuals living on low incomes who receive a bump in pay studies show almost always turn around and spend that money locally, like dining out or a car loan. That remains true when businesses increase their prices to account for the increase."

Several U.S. states and cities already have minimum wages above $13 an hour. Florida's wages are set to go up each year on September 30th.

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