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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: The FL Legislature has taken up a proposal to thwart the determination of their constituents

Image: Fifteen dollars, ncpolicywatch.org
Image: Fifteen dollars, ncpolicywatch.org

How many times does the Florida Legislature need to demonstrate how little they value the opinions of their constituents?

Once again, they’ve taken up a proposal to directly thwart the determination of the voters.

This time, it’s the minimum wage. A question on the 2020 ballot proposed a constitutional amendment that would gradually boost the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 and passed with more than 60 percent support.

The amendment was self-executing and did not need legislative action. But that hasn’t stopped Sen. Jeff Brandes from trying to exempt certain workers. He proposes a reduced minimum wage for workers under age 21, for workers convicted of felonies, for state prisoners and for what he calls “other hard-to-hire employees.”

(“Hard to hire” is another fine example of Florida doublespeak. In a state where the “right to work” means the right of employers to fire workers with no notice or explanation, those who have a harder time finding jobs are labeled “hard to hire.”)

As Fight for 15 initiative funder John Morgan tweeted in response to Brandes’ proposal, this is “[j]ust another example of why politicians are hated.” Considering the financial desperation faced by so many right now, I’d have to agree.

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