TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NSF) - Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would increase Florida’s minimum wage have submitted more than 700,000 valid petition signatures to the state and are nearing a key threshold to get on the November 2020 ballot.
The political committee Florida For A Fair Wage, which is chaired and largely bankrolled by Orlando attorney John Morgan, had submitted 705,920 valid signatures as of Wednesday. It needs to submit 766,200 valid signatures by a February deadline to be eligible for the ballot. Also, it needs the Florida Supreme Court to sign off on the proposed ballot wording.
The proposed amendment, if approved by voters, would increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021 and increase it by $1 each year until it hits $15 an hour on Sept. 30, 2026. The state’s minimum wage this year is $8.46 an hour.
Meanwhile, the state has tallied 664,983 petition signatures from the political committee All Voters Vote for a proposed constitutional amendment that would revamp the primary-election system. Under the proposal, all registered voters would be able to cast ballots in primaries, regardless of political affiliation. The two candidates getting the most votes in each primary would advance to the general election.
Currently, Florida has a “closed” primary system, which allows only voters registered with parties to participate in party primaries. One political committee, Florida Citizen Voters, has already topped the 766,200-signature threshold for its proposed constitutional amendment. The committee’s proposal would change part of the state Constitution that now says, “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”
The proposal would change that wording to: “Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”
While the committee has submitted enough petition signatures to get on the 2020 ballot, it still needs Supreme Court approval of the proposed ballot wording.