The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Florida voters increase minimum wage

by Madeleine Baran

Nov. 3, 2004 – Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a measure increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.15 on Tuesday.

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"This is really a huge victory for Florida's working families," Meghan Scott, communications director for Floridians For All, the group that sponsored the measure, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "Once people heard what Amendment 5 was and what it would do for Florida's working poor, people really got it."

The new minimum wage will be implemented in six months, and will be adjusted every September by the rate of inflation. Proponents of the measure said 300,000 workers will be directly affected, and an additional 500,000 will eventually see a pay raise due to the "ripple effect" of increasing wages for the states’ lowest earners.

Republican Governor Jeb Bush opposed the measure, claiming it would lead to the loss of jobs, health care coverage and retirement benefits; but studies have not found a link between minimum wage increases and significant job losses.

A full-time worker paid the current $5.15 minimum wage makes $10,712 a year, 28 percent below the 2003 federal poverty threshold for a family of three.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Madeleine Baran is a contributing journalist.

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