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Florida's Minimum Wage Workers Get Pay Boost Starting Thursday

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) -- Minimum wage workers in Florida will get a voter-approved pay boost starting Thursday.

After just over 60 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment in November, the state's minimum wage will go from $8.65 an hour --- about $18,000 a year for a full-time worker --- to $10 on Thursday, with the rate for tipped workers moving up from $5.63 an hour to $6.98 an hour.

Under the constitutional amendment, the rate will increase incrementally each year until reaching $15 an hour --- $11.98 for tipped workers --- on Sept. 30, 2026.

The measure maintains a $3.02 tip credit that employers can apply to tipped workers.

Prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan spearheaded the constitutional amendment, pouring millions of dollars into its passage. Supporters said it was needed to help low-paid workers. Also, for example, state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, argued last year it will help counter an "anti-worker" agenda by Republican leaders and business groups in Tallahassee.

But the amendment faced opposition from Republican leaders, such as state GOP Chairman Joe Gruters, a Sarasota senator, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor. Among other things, they said it would hurt small businesses.

The change also was opposed by business groups, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida's Jim Turner contributed to this report.)

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