April 13, 2021 12:58

Florida Proposal Excludes Felons From State Minimum Wage Increase

Though Florida residents overwhelmingly voted to approve “Amendment 2,” a ballot initiative that raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by September 2026, St. Petersburg State Senator Jeffrey Brandes—a well-connected veteran of the Florida GOP—filed SJR 854, a measure that will, if enacted, exempt some Floridians from the increased minimum-wage protection, reports The Appeal. The state Republican Party—dominated by pro-Trump apparatchiks and a smaller Libertarian-minded wing—has launched its plan to kneecap the minimum wage increase, which passed with over 60 percent approval.

Brandes is now proposing amending the state constitution once more, to allow state lawmakers to “reduce the minimum wage rate for prisoners in the state correctional system, reduce the minimum wage rate for employees convicted of a felony, reduce the minimum wage rate for employees younger than 21 years of age, [and] reduce the minimum wage rate for other hard-to-hire employees…” The proposal is considered a stark departure for Brandes, who has been able to use his pull as a member of the state’s dominant party to pass significant reforms such as trying to reform the state’s mandatory-minimum sentencing laws, forcing cops to get warrants before monitoring citizens’ cell-phone data, pushing more people into pre-arrest diversion programs, and reducing the state’s reliance on cash bail.

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