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Mitch Perry Report for 3.28.16 — 13 states to raise their minimum wage this year — Florida won’t be one of them

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In California, lawmakers reached a tentative deal this past weekend that would lead to an increase in the Golden State’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next six years.

The agreement also includes the caveat that the wage increase could be halted during economic downturns, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

This action occurs while the federal minimum wage continues to remain at $7.25 an hour. In, Florida it’s $8.05 an hour.

In recent years in Tallahassee, there have been proposals to raise that  to $10.10 an hour. Then last year, the drive both nationally and in Florida (led by the Service Employees International Union) has been to raise that to $15 an hour. Cutler Bay Democrat Dwight Bullard sponsored such a bill in the state Senate, which went nowhere.

The debate rages among economists and lawmakers about whether any increase will be detrimental to economic growth, especially for small businesses.

Is it something of a dereliction of duty that such a bill was never even discussed in the past Legislative Session? Republicans critical of Barack Obama talk about how poor an economic recovery we’ve had here in America. Maybe raising the minimum wage isn’t the best way to alleviate the problems of the working poor, but it’s surely worthy of more discussion.

Bernie Sanders is among the many Democrats who are calling for a national $15 an hour minimum wage hike, but that’s not universal among Democrats. Hillary Clinton, for example, is calling for an increase to $12.

Again, why is Florida not even part of the discussion? Thirteen states intend to raise their minimum wage this year, according to CNBC

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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