Florida voters just passed an amendment to increase the minimum wage from $8.56 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026, making Florida the eighth state to adopt a $15 minimum wage. As in other states, the amendment will gradually increase the wage floor over the next six years, raising it to $10 next year and then upping it by $1 each year until the minimum wage reaches $15 in 2026.
The wage hike could impact about 2.5 million workers in Florida—reportedly more than a quarter of the state’s workforce—and comes in the midst of a pandemic that has taken a significant toll on low-wage workers, particularly women of color. Still, Florida’s restaurant industry and other opponents of the measure worry that minimum wage increases could negatively impact businesses that are already struggling amid the pandemic.
Florida previously voted to increase the minimum wage to $6.15 an hour in 2004. Subsequent increases were due to inflation.