Florida state lawmaker seeks to exclude felons from minimum wage hike

Florida state lawmaker seeks to exclude felons from minimum wage hike
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Florida state Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) has proposed an amendment to the state constitution that would exclude felons and others from receiving the minimum wage hike Florida approved last year. 

The proposed amendment on Wednesday would leave prisoners, those convicted of a felony, those under the age of 21 and “hard to hire” employees out of the minimum wage hike and give them a “reduced minimum wage,” Click Orlando reported on Thursday

Florida voters in November approved an amendment that would raise minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. The state’s minimum wage will go up to $10 in September then rise one dollar every year after until 2026. 


The amendment Brandes proposed does not say what the “reduced minimum wage” would be set at or who falls under “hard to hire” workers. 

If the legislature passes the amendment in March, it would go on the ballot for the people of Florida to vote on in 2022. If 60 percent of citizens vote to pass the amendment, it would be added to Florida’s constitution. 

It is not clear how many people the proposal would affect, but the minimum wage hike will reportedly affect 2.5 million workers in the state. 

Click Orlando reported that there are 1.5 million Florida residents with felony convictions.

A $15 minimum wage is also being sought at the federal level, but opponents say it would burden small businesses that are already struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.