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Proposed Minimum Wage Hike Doesn't Draw FL Supreme Court Arguments

The Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court will not hold oral arguments on a proposed constitutional amendment that would increase the state’s minimum wage, after it did not receive any briefs on the issue.

The court issued a one-page document Tuesday saying it is “dispensing with oral argument” as it reviews the wording of the proposed amendment. Supreme Court approval of wording is a key step in the process of getting amendments on the ballot.

Related: Report Says Affording Housing Out Of Reach For Those Making Minimum Wage

The minimum wage proposal, which is being spearheaded by prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan, who also has offices in Jacksonville. It would increase the state minimum wage to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021, with it increasing by $1 each year until it hits $15 an hour on Sept. 30, 2026.

The state’s minimum wage this year is $8.46 an hour. 

The Morgan-led political committee Florida For A Fair Wage cleared a key signature threshold in March, triggering Supreme Court review of the proposal. Justices later set a May 28 deadline for opponents to file briefs and a June 17 deadline for Morgan’s committee to answer.

But opponents did not file any briefs and, as a result, an answer brief was not filed. That contrasts with another proposed constitutional amendment that would overhaul and deregulate the state’s electric utility industry.

State leaders, business groups and utilities have filed briefs opposing the utility amendment, and the Supreme Court will hear arguments Aug. 28. Morgan’s committee has submitted 281,420 valid petition signatures to the state for the minimum-wage proposal.

If the Supreme Court signs off on the wording, the committee would have to submit a total of 766,200 signatures to get on the November 2020 ballot.

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