No raise for minimum wage in sight

By Matt Galka, Reporter, Capitol News Service
Published On: Apr 09 2014 05:08:01 PM EDT
Money Dollars Currency
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida's minimum wage sits at $7.93 but Democrats are pushing for just over $10 and some members of the legislature are going to extremes to prove their point.

Florida’s minimum wage is nearly 70 cents more than the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour. President Barack Obama is also pushing for a federal minimum wage hike in Washington.

Call it the legislative version of supermarket sweep. A handful of Democratic lawmakers scaled back their paychecks and tried to shop and live on a minimum wage budget.

"In a given week, someone is looking at $317 before taxes. And that's in a 40-hour work-week," said Sen. Dwight Bullard.

Oscar Rivera makes minimum wage working part time for a Wendy's in Miami. He’s trying to support his family in South Florida and in Nicaragua.

"The money that I make is not enough," Rivera said.

Many of the minimum wage shoppers stuck to chicken, eggs, and produce. They tried to keep their bill around $40.

"I normally get Del Monte steaks (but) I couldn't get that today," said Rep. Clovis Watson.

An estimated 400,000 Floridians would benefit from a pay boost.

Raising the minimum wage might sound good to shoppers on a budget, but convincing the Gov. Rick Scott has been a tough sell.

Scott said in January the idea made him cringe. His re-election campaign chair Sen. John Thrasher said this won’t be an issue come election time.

“We’re working on other things," Thrasher said. "We’re working on creating good jobs in the state of Florida, that seems to be working pretty well and if we create good jobs, there will be good paying jobs out there.”

Bills raising the minimum wage have so far gone nowhere.

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