Florida $15 minimum wage effort gets enough signatures for 2020 ballot

A petition drive to ask voters to gradually increase Florida's minimum wage to $15 an hour has enough signatures to make the November 2020 ballot.

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The Department of State website shows the ballot has gathered slightly more than the 766,200 registered voter signatures needed to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot.

The effort is headed by trial lawyer John Morgan, who also led the successful effort to put legal use of medical marijuana into the state constitution.

The measure calls for raising the current minimum wage from $8.46 an hour to $10 in September 2021 with $1 an hour increases annually until it reaches $15 in 2026.

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The state Supreme Court still needs to approve the ballot language.

The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank on economic policy, reported in 2018 that a blanketed effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 could lift wages for 41 million American workers, the AJC previously reported.

"Over the phase-in period of the increases, the rising wage floor would generate $144 billion in additional wages, which would ripple out to the families of these workers and their communities," the policy noted in their research. "Because lower-paid workers spend much of their extra earnings, this injection of wages would help stimulate the economy and spur greater business activity and job growth."

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