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Can Cities Set Their Own Local Minimum Wage? Florida Supreme Court Set To Hear Arguments

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA) - The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments March 6 in a closely watched case about whether the city of Miami Beach can have a local minimum wage.

The court, which announced in August that it would take up the case, issued an order Monday scheduling the arguments.

Miami Beach approved an ordinance in 2016 that called for a local minimum wage to be set at $10.31 an hour this year and incrementally increase to $13.31 an hour in 2021.

That is higher than the statewide minimum wage, which is $8.25 an hour this year, and the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour.

Business groups and Attorney General Pam Bondi's office challenged the legality of the Miami Beach ordinance and won in circuit court and the 3rd District Court of Appeal.

That led Miami Beach to go to the Supreme Court.

The legal battle stems, in part, from a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment that gave Florida a higher minimum wage than the federal rate.

Bondi's office and the business groups argue that another state law --- known as a preemption law --- effectively requires Florida's minimum wage to be the same throughout the state and blocks local governments from passing higher rates.

But Miami Beach attorneys contend the 2004 constitutional amendment did not bar local governments from passing higher minimum wages.

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