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John Morgan Says Constitutional Amendment “Only Way” to Guarantee $15 Dollar an Hour Wage

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Image of money. Photo credit: Jean Beaufort via publicdomainphotos.net

The salary boost could be a shot in the arm for struggling tourist industry workers. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Attorney John Morgan says that changing the Florida Constitution is the only way to guarantee a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage in the state.

Morgan’s comments come a day after the Florida Supreme Court voted to add a question about his Fair Wage Amendment to the ballot in 2020. 

The Fair Wage Amendment or Amendment 2 would raise the minimum wage to $10 dollars an hour in 2021 then a dollar an hour every year after until hitting $15 dollars an hour in 2026. 

Morgan says a constitutional amendment isn’t the perfect way to ensure workers make a living wage. 

But he says historically speaking it’s the most effective way when the state legislature doesn’t always carry out the will of the people where powerful special interests groups are concerned.

“We saw felons’ rights restored not in the legislature but through a constitutional amendment. We saw medical marijuana legalized not in the legislature but through a constitutional amendment.”

A spokesperson for Governor Ron DeSantis says a wage hike should be decided by the legislature-that way if the policy doesn’t work, it can be changed easily. 

But Morgan says that shouldn’t be a problem as he calls the “fight for 15” politically conservative. 

He says requiring employees to pay workers more means fewer people will rely on taxpayer funded government assistance.

“Why do we have a housing crisis? Because people can not afford to pay rent. People can not afford to buy a house. That’s the crisis. This fixes a lot of things. This fixes the housing crisis.”

DeSantis and other prominent Republicans say they’re worried this wage hike will actually make it harder for low-skilled workers to find jobs-and that some small businesses will have to let workers go and automate more jobs.

If you’d like to listen to the story, please click on the clip above.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »