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  • Class Size Changes 1, March27, 2015
    Florida voters put class size limits into the constitution in 2002. As Matt Galka tells us, a bill passed by the Florida House would give schools a break for exceeding the class size numbers, but opponents say that’s not what voters wanted. A little more than a decade ago, Florida voters put caps on class […]
    Matt Galka
  • Uniforms Coming to a School Near You? 1, March26, 2015
    The Florida House of Representatives has given tentative approval this afternoon to make it easier for school districts to adopt standard uniform policies for kindergarten through eight grade. Under state law, uniforms are already allowed, but this legislation offers an encouragement. The legislation offers a ten dollar per student incentive for districts th […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hitting a Donkey with a 2X4 1, March26, 2015
    One lawmaker likened legislation making major changes in the body that regulates high school sports in Florida to hitting a donkey on the head with a 2 x 4. The House Education committee today passed legislation requiring a complete shakeup of the governing organization, reorganizing its board and membership, allowing students to attend any school. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Cards on the Table 1, March26, 2015
    Destination resort casinos, the future of greyhound racing, and renewing the compact that allows blackjack in certain places around the state. All were topics of discussion for lawmakers today, and as Matt Galka tells us, the odds are against getting many of the proposals to pass. A four hour long workshop saw legislators diving into […]
    Matt Galka
  • Turf wars: Nurses vs. Doctors. Round one to the Nurses 1, March25, 2015
    A turf war over your health care options is heating up at the State Capitol. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, it has to do with giving Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners more authority at the expense of doctors. Elizabeth Markovich isn’t a doctor, but she has a Doctorate degree in nursing and more than 15 years […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • A First for Political Theatre: Bag Monster 1, March25, 2015
    Take a look at this. He’s called a bag monster and he was walking around the state Capitol today to dramatize the harm done by plastic bags. According to the Surfrider Foundation, the average family uses 500 plastic bags a year that end up in land fills or in our waterways.Holly Parker says the Foundation […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hillsborough County Comes to the Capitol 1, March25, 2015
    A pirate stormed through legislation offices today passing out beads and posing for pictures with lawmakers and staff as part of Hillsborough day in the State Capitol. The annual fest fed cuban sandwiches to more than a thousand people and offered stunts from the Museum of Science along with exhibits from the Lowery Park Zoo […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Taxis are Uber Mad 1, March25, 2015
    The boom of ride sharing services through smart phones has ruffled some feathers in the traditional cab company community.  As Matt Galka tell us, taxis say ride sharers are breaking the rules, and the legislature is trying to fix that. Tom Villaverde says he used to work 80 hours a week selling cars. “And I […]
    Matt Galka
  • Cut My Taxes 1, March24, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott is facing some opposition to his plan to cut 673 million dollars in taxes this year., so he kicked off what he is calling his “Cut My Taxes Week”  with a booth in the state Capitol. Even the Governor is adding to the confusion with a TV spot in which he says […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Confederate Vets Excluded from Hall of Fame…for now 1, March24, 2015
    5 people were inducted into the Veterans Hall of Fame today, but controversy continues to swirl around three who were nominated but not chosen because they served in the Confederate army. The law as written says they must have served in the US Military. One of them was David Lang’s great grandfather, who went on […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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Minimum Wage Increases to $7.31 an Hour

May 31st, 2011 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Tomorrow 188-thousand of the state’s lowest paid workers will get a pay raise. Florida’s minimum wage is increasing six cents to $7.31 an hour. As Whitney Ray tells us, business owners say the increase comes at a bad time.

At Barnacle Bills seafood restaurant in Tallahassee, much like eateries throughout the state, shipping costs are up and fewer hungry patrons are coming through the doors…

And starting Wednesday the state is forcing owner Jeff Stilwell to give much of his staff a pay raise.

“A worker will make what theyre worth. Nobody pays someone who is valuable to them minimum wage,” said Jeff.

Florida’s minimum wage is increasing from 7.25 to 7.31 an hour. Waiters will see their hourly wages increase four cents to 4.29. Jeff has 15 waiters and says they already make good tip money. Raising their pay will leave Jeff with less money to pay the rest of his staff.

“A good server will make quiet a bit of money, a good cook can only make as much money as you can afford to pay them,” said Jeff.

188-thousand Floridians work for minimum wage. The increase means an extra 128 dollars a year for those workers. Economists with the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy say the increase isn’t much but it will help some.

“It could be the difference between being able to take a child to the doctor or being able to get medication for the child,” said Alan Stonecipher, a spokesman with the center.

The increase comes from a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2004 that ties minimum wage to inflation. The state tried to pass a smaller increase, but a Florida Judge ruled it unconstitutional. Governor Rick Scott decided not to challenge the judge’s decision. He fears future increases will hurt Florida’s job market.

“If it continues to go up and other states have lower minimum wages it would impact our ability to be able to create jobs, said Scott.

While the minimum wage can go up with inflation, deflation won’t bring it down. In the past Floridas minimum wage has stayed below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 so employers had to pay the higher federal wage. Now that Floridas wage has increased, employers will have to honor the states wage.

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