On Thursday, September 17, 2015, the Broward County Commission voted to extend it’s living wage ordinance to airport workers at Fort Lauderdale International Airport. Although, its the first of a 2-part vote, it is an instrumental move toward giving our working families the support they need to sustain themselves. Before now, many workers at the airport were making minimum wage while some were even making less than that due to a loophole in the county’s original ordinance that basically did not apply to subcontractors.
It’s good to see our county making this right for hardworking Floridians. However, the discussion to raise the wage, needs to be had across the state and I’m glad to see Senators Dwight Bullard and Darren Soto (SB 6), along with Representatives Victor Torres (HB 109), Evan Jenne, Lori Berman and other legislative leaders pushing this effort.
While some say raising the minimum wage will hurt our business community, I disagree and believe the opposite is true. Increasing the minimum wage will actually put money back into our local economies because people will have more disposable income to spend. It will help to relieve the daily stress and timidity in spending and will help to free up dollars that can be used to patronize restaurants, go on family trips, and do other things.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out in Florida, as during the 2015 Legislative Session the minimum wage bill didn’t gain any traction, not even a hearing. Nevertheless, I’m hopeful that if Broward County, Florida’s 2nd largest county, can pass ordinances to help lift our families out of poverty, surely this year we’ll see some bipartisan support in the legislature to help Florida’s working families. In the very least, we should be able to have an open discussion about it.