Poll: Florida minimum wage constitutional amendment poised to pass

The Center Square – Six proposed state constitutional amendments are on Florida’s Nov. 3 ballot, including four placed before voters through the citizen-petition process.

According to a St. Pete Polls’ Sept. 21-22 statewide survey of 2,906 registered Florida voters, at least two of those four citizen initiated measures may not secure the 60% majority necessary to pass.

According to St Pete Polls’ survey, Amendment 2, which proposes Florida increases its minimum wage to $15 by 2026, would pass with nearly 65% of respondents agreeing to it.

Amendments 3, however, would not, according to the survey, with only 46% supporting the open primary proposal, nor would Amendment 4, with only 44% of St. Pete Polls’ respondents agreeing to require future amendments pass twice.

A breakdown of the proposed constitutional amendments:

• Amendment 1: Florida Citizen Voters’ proposal would amend the state constitution from “every citizen” can vote to “only citizens” can vote.

Florida Citizen Voters has collected $5.84 million in contributions, according to the Florida Division of Elections (FDOE), much of it from founder John Loudon, a former Missouri state legislator, member of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and a former adviser to America First Policies.

• Amendment 2: Florida for a Fair Wage calls for raising the state’s minimum wage from $8.46 an hour to $10 an hour in September 2021, with $1 an hour increases annually until it reaches $15 in 2026.

Florida for a Fair Wage is led by John Morgan, a prominent Orlando trial attorney who also spearheaded the 2016 measure that legalized medical marijuana. His firm contributed nearly all the of $5.25 million in campaign contributions with the FDOE.

The measure is opposed by Save Florida Jobs, which was created in January by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA). Save Florida Jobs includes representatives from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Olive Garden parent company Darden Restaurants and McDonald’s on its board.

In St. Pete Polls’ survey, 64.8% said “yes,” 22.6% said “no” and 12.6% were undecided. Eighty percent of Democrats supported the measure, and Republicans were split, with 49.1% saying “yes,” 35.8% saying “no,” and 15% unsure.

Support was highest in Miami – 72% – and lowest in Gainesville, at 53.4%.

In their fiscal analysis of Amendment 2, state economists’ impact statement said raising minimum wage by $1 annually through 2026 will increase state and local government costs by $16 million in 2022 to $540 million in 2027.

In analyzing a bill adopted by the U.S. House, the Raise The Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study projected the measure would boost pay for 27 million workers and lift 1.3 million households out of poverty but also potentially trigger the loss of 1.3 million jobs.

• Amendment 3: All Voters Vote’s proposal would allow registered voters to cast ballots in open primary elections for the Florida Legislature, governor and cabinet regardless of political affiliation.

All Voters Vote has raised $7 million, with about $6.6 million contributed through fundraising by Miami health care executive Mike Fernandez.

Florida is one of 12 states with closed party primaries, restricting participation to voters registered only with that party. The measure is opposed by Florida’s Republican and Democratic parties.

In St. Pete Polls’ survey, 46.1% said “yes,” 35.1% said “no” and 18.8% were unsure to the proposal.

• Amendment 4: Keep Our Constitution Clean’s measure would require voter-approved constitutional amendments approved by more than 60 percent of voters in one election do so again in a second election to be encoded into the constitution.

Keep Our Constitution Clean has raised only $165,500 in cash but has received $8.85 million in in-kind services from Fort Lauderdale-based law firm Haber Blank LLP.

In St. Pete Polls’ survey, 44.3% said “yes,” 30.8% said “no” and 24.9% were undecided.

• Amendment 5: The proposal asks voters to extend the Save Our Homes portability period from two to three years, adding an extra year during which a person may transfer Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead property. The bill was placed on the ballot by House Joint Resolution 369, sponsored by Rep. Rick Roth, R-West Palm Beach.

• Amendment 6: The proposal asks voters to allow the Homestead Property Tax discount be transferred to surviving spouses of deceased veterans. It was placed on the ballot by House Joint Resolution 877, sponsored by Rep. Sam Killebrew, R-Winter Haven.

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