Support to raise minimum wage in Florida not a sure thing, according to poll

On election day, Floridians will decide if the minimum wage should be raised in the Sunshine State. News4Jax reporter Joe McLean breaks down a new poll that shows a thin margin of support for the measure.

In just over 3 weeks, Floridians will decide if the minimum wage should be raised in the sunshine state.

A new poll from the University of North Florida shows a thin margin of support for the measure. It needs the required 60% of voter support to secure passage.

Amendment Two, if passed by Florida voters, would slowly raise the minimum wage from the current $8.56 to $10 on Oct. 30 of next year.

It would then bump that minimum up by $1 each year, until it hits $15-per-hour in 2026.

After that, Amendment Two would see the minimum wage go back to being adjusted for inflation each year.

When you see the question on the ballot, the cost to the state will be in plain site.

State employees on the current minimum wage will of course get the boost too.

It’ll cost the state approximately $16 million dollars in 2022, and grow to $540 million in 2027 and on.

The full impact is unknown, with the ballot’s own words saying, “government actions are to mitigate these costs are unlikely to produce material savings. Other government costs and revenue impacts, both positive and negative, are not quantifiable.”

But they are quantifiable to local business owners like Andrew Oetjen, who co-owns the San Marco movie theater, part of an industry hit hard by the pandemic.

Oetjen said he sees why the measure it attractive to some, but that it would pose a real challenge to many business already hurting.

Support for the minimum wage hike appears to be sitting right at the 60% mark, which is the threshold needed to adjust the Florida constitution. 37% said they’d be voting against it.

University of North Florida public opinion researcher Dr. Michael Binder ran that poll, and told News4Jax earlier this week, that this level of support, at this point in the election cycle, doesn’t look good for its passage.

“This is not just our polls, but all polling, typically, ballot measures do better prior to the election, and they actually do on election day. So I would expect that number to come down a little bit,” said Binder.

Why would those numbers come down?

Binder said it’s likely voters tend to like the idea of a measure, and that approval comes out during polling, but he said minds can often be changed when it comes time to check the box.