Osceola Co. leaders to discuss raising minimum wage for county workers

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How much money is enough for a family to get by?

Osceola County leaders are debating how much county workers should be paid as the national debate over raising the minimum wage comes to Central Florida.

Should Osceola County government’s 1,400 government workers and contractors get a pay raise?

Look for a feisty debate Monday evening as county commissioners debate a proposal for a minimum living wage.

So many Central Florida families feel the pinch of a tight budget.

Osceola County leaders will decide if county government workers will get a raise to help make ends meet.  

Florida’s minimum wage is $8.05 per hour.  

This proposal would raise the minimum living wage up to $11.61 per hour by the year 2020.  

Shoppers we spoke to like the idea.

Raquel Dominguez is a Kissimmee resident.

“You know the prices are going higher than what people are getting paid is not enough to make it through,” Dominguez said.

Corey Daniels also live in Kissimmee and support the idea.  

“I would think it’s a good idea," Daniels said. "You know you can spend more money, do a little more shopping.”

Some business leaders in Osceola County say the pay raises would hurt small business owners who have contracts with county government, because they would have to give all of their workers a pay hike.  

County Commissioner Fred Hawkins opposes the plan.

He sent us a statement about the issue:  

“I am perplexed at the need for this ordinance when we are a county that is trying to diversify our economy, but yet looking at passing anti-business ordinances. Any commissioner supporting this needs to explain to the taxpayers their plan for paying for the effects it will have not only on the future budgets of the county, but the loss of jobs due to it."

The meeting gets underway at 5:30 p.m. Monday, and it could be a long night with lots of people signed up to speak at the public hearing.