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  • NAACP Says No To Confederates 1, February27, 2015
    Should Confederate soldiers from Florida be recognized as Veterans enshrined in the state’s hall of fame? Matt Galka first told us about the story earlier this month, and now tells us the NAACP is saying no. We first brought you the unique story of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans asking Florida’s Governor and Cabinet […]
    Matt Galka
  • Solar Wars 1, February26, 2015
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    Mike Vasilinda
  • Ray Sansom Gets Day in Court 1, February26, 2015
    Former House Speaker Ray Sansom of Destin spent the day in a Tallahassee courtroom. He and his lawyer are arguing they deserve more than 817 thousand dollars in legal fees stemming from criminal charges later dropped that alleged Samson misrepresented a six million dollar item in the state budget when he was appropriations chairman. The […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Housing Funds Getting Slashed Because of Amendment 1? 1, February26, 2015
    Affordable housing funds could be taking a hit this year, and as Matt Galka tells us, it could be because of environmental amendment 1. But both sides say that isn’t fair. Theo Anderson was down on his luck, inured, and living with two children in a run down home before state housing assistance helped him […]
    Matt Galka
  • Test Anxiety Take Two 1, February26, 2015
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  • Tax Dodging 1, February25, 2015
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  • Testing Anxiety Hits Home 1, February24, 2015
    Florida’s testing scheme is getting a “D” or an “F” from a majority of parents, teachers and school employees. The results of the online survey sow the frustration of parents as Governor Rick Scott cancelled one test and is asking lawmakers to  consider eliminating others. Rick Scott’s executive order suspends the Florida Standards English Assessment […]
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  • A New Retirement Problem Down the Road? 1, February24, 2015
    New data suggests that Florida could have another crisis for retirees on its hands. As Matt Galka tells us, it goes beyond local pensions and into the world of healthcare. Pension problems have been ongoing in the state. Unfunded liability for local governments have put future benefit burdens on taxpayers.  The problem is so bad […]
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  • Big Sugar Buy? 1, February23, 2015
    Everglades advocates opened up what could be a legislative session – long fight over funding.  As Matt Galka tells us, the push is on for the state to make a land buy…and time is running out. Environmentalists are making a full court press and will attempt to get the Governor and the legislature to buy […]
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  • Pennsylvania Paper Declares War on Rick Scott Jobs “Poaching” 1, February20, 2015
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    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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