Why 18 Florida lawmakers plan to live on $17 a day

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Florida Democrats Live On $17 A Day.

Eighteen Florida lawmakers plan to live on $17 a day this week to draw attention to legislators’ efforts to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. SALEM — Legislators will gather in Salem this week for the first time since the 2015 session ended, offering a preview of issues they may tackle in 2016. The daily budget represents a minimum wage worker’s typical take-home pay after taxes, childcare, and housing are deducted from an $8.05-an-hour paycheck – the current minimum wage in the state of Florida, a rate somewhat higher than the federally-mandated minimum of $7.25.

The $17 figure was calculated based on what a full-time minimum wage worker could expect to have left on a daily basis after basic living expenses it. Together, the hearings could help House Democrats decide whether to take another run at raising the minimum wage during next year’s monthlong legislative session in February. The lawmakers – mostly Democrats – taking part in the publicity stunt will also go grocery shopping with a minimum-wage worker at the start of the week. The city of Seattle passed an ordinance for a $15 minimum wage by 2021, and in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently endorsed a similar measure in his state. “If you work full time, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty – plain and simple,” said Cuomo at a rally at Javits Center on September 10. Adding pressure: A powerful union-lead coalition is pushing for legislation to raise the minimum to $13.50 an hour — and says it will take it to the ballot in November 2016 if lawmakers don’t act.

Washington D.C. leads the country on minimum wage at $10.50, which took effect July 1, making it the first locality in the nation to cross the $10 threshold. On Tuesday, the full Senate is set to convene to approve more than 50 agency appointments, including Clyde Saiki as the Department of Administrative Services director.

The House Judiciary Committee will also hold a hearing that day to discuss untested rape kits. “Inside the building, the noise will probably be about minimum wage,” said Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem. “I see it as rural versus urban — can we have one statewide minimum wage policy?” Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, complained that legislators are sidestepping some important issues, such as transportation funding and a looming budget hole created by the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision on pension reforms.

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