St. Johns County Chamber opposes Florida Constitutional Amendment 2, which allows for minimum wage increase

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Isabelle Renault, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, has announced that after thorough discussion and deliberation, the Chamber’s board of directors formally oppose Florida Constitutional Amendment 2.

The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce joins the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Home Builders Association, Florida Farm Bureau and Florida Retail Federation in opposing Amendment 2.

If passed, Amendment 2 would raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour effective Sept. 30, 2021. Each Sept. 30 thereafter, minimum wage shall increase by $1 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour on Sept. 30, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting Sept. 30, 2027.

“With so many attractions, hotels and restaurants still operating at limited capacities, the hospitality industry will be significantly impacted by approval of Amendment 2,” Renault said. “Minimum wage is often the wage earned in entry-level positions. These jobs are intended for individuals entering the workforce so that they can gain skills and experience. Increasing the minimum wage so drastically sets a higher productivity standard that would force businesses to shift their workforce to more experienced workers.”

“If approved by Florida voters, Amendment 2 will leave fewer jobs for entry-level workers leading to a decrease in job training and opportunities for students and those looking to re-enter the workforce,” she said.

According to Dr. Erika Hamer, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce chair, Amendment 2 is effectively a tax increase driving up inflation and dramatically increasing the cost of living, while forcing seniors and working families to pay more for necessities like food and clothing.

“Amendment 2 would also cause part-time wage earners to see a dramatic reduction in paid hours and benefits as many businesses may be forced to reduce staff,” she said.

The Congressional Budget Office, which produces independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process, produced a recent report which detailed what would happen if a $15 minimum wage were enacted across the country. The report concluded that the median nationwide job loss would be 1.3 million jobs.

To find out more about the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, go www.sjcchamber.com or call (904) 829-5681.

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