Florida $15 Minimum Wage Initiative to appear on 2020 ballot

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Monday, November 18, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Florida $15 Minimum Wage Initiative to appear on 2020 ballo
  2. 35 candidates file for Congress in Alabama
  3. Join us tomorrow for our Ballotpedia Insights on American democracy

Florida $15 Minimum Wage Initiative to appear on 2020 ballot

Florida voters will decide in 2020 whether to raise the state’s minimum wage from $8.46 to $15 per hour. The measure, which will appear on the ballot as Amendment 2, would increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour on September 30, 2021, and raise it by $1 per year until reaching $15 per hour on September 30, 2026. Thereafter, the minimum wage would be adjusted each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

To qualify a citizen initiative for the 2020 ballot in Florida, 766,200 valid signatures are required. In July 2019, initiative sponsor John Morgan reported having collected more than 1 million signatures for Amendment 2. Earlier this month, the Florida Division of Elections showed that proponents had submitted 768,478 valid signatures and met the state’s distribution requirement, which requires that signatures equaling at least 8% of the district-wide vote in the last presidential election be collected from at least half (14) of the state’s 27 congressional districts.

Excluding Washington D.C., which has a minimum wage of $14.00 per hour, the average state minimum wage is around $8.68. The highest statewide minimum wages based on state law are $12.00 in California, Massachusetts, and Washington. In metropolitan Portland, Oregon, the minimum wage is $12.50. In New York City, the minimum wage is $15.00 for certain employers. 

Georgia and Wyoming are the two states in the U.S. that have minimum wages of $5.15 per hour, which is lower than the federal government’s requirement of $7.25 per hour. Therefore, the federal requirement supersedes state law for most types of employees.

Minimum wageVoters throughout the country have decided 27 statewide ballot measures concerning the minimum wage since 1988, all but one of which reached the ballot through initiative signature petitions. The last time voters rejected a minimum wage increase at the ballot was in Missouri and Montana in 1996. The Missouri measure (rejected by a vote of 71% to 29%) would have required all employers to pay employees an hourly minimum wage of $6.25, with a $0.15 annual increase. The Montana measure (rejected by a vote of 56% to 44%) would have re-established a state minimum wage that would have gradually increased from $4.25 an hour to $6.25 an hour by the year 2000.

From 1996 to 2018, an average of between seven and eight measures appeared on the ballot during even-numbered years in Florida. Of all 91 measures on the ballot between 1996 and 2018, 76% were approved and 24% were defeated.

Forty-three statewide ballot measures have been certified for the 2020 ballot so far in 20 states. That number includes three other minimum wage measures in ArizonaIdaho, and Missouri.

Learn more blank    blankblank   

35 candidates file for Congress in Alabama

Alabama’s Nov. 8 Congressional filing deadline was the first of the 2020 election cycle. After it passed, 35 candidates had filed to run for the U.S. Senate or House.

Nine candidates, including incumbent Doug Jones (D), filed for the U.S. Senate election. Jones is unopposed in the Democratic primary, while eight candidates are running in the Republican primary. They include Roy Moore, who lost to Jones by 1.7% in the 2017 special election for the seat, and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who held the seat prior to Jones. The other six candidates are Stanley Adair, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, state Rep. Arnold Mooney, Ruth Page Nelson, and Tommy Tuberville.

Twenty-six candidates filed for the state’s seven U.S. House seats. Five of the seven incumbents are running for re-election. Of those, two incumbents are facing primary challenges while three are running unopposed in the primary. Two other incumbents are not seeking re-election, leaving their seats open. All seven U.S. House incumbents ran for re-election successfully in both 2018 and 2016.

The Republican Party holds seven of the nine congressional seats from Alabama. In the 2020 election, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly scheduled elections, one is a special election in Arizona, and another is an expected special election in Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, where all the seats are up for election, Democrats currently hold a 233-seat majority.

The Alabama primary is March 3, 2020, and a primary runoff will be March 31 for any candidates who do not win a majority of the vote (more than 50%) in the primary. The general election is November 3.

Join us tomorrow for our Ballotpedia Insights on American democracy

I hope you’ll be able to join us tomorrow, Nov. 19, for the Ballotpedia Insights session hosted by our Director of Outreach, Sarah Rosier, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. She’ll be talking to authors Morgan Marietta and David Barker to discuss their book One Nation, Two Realities: Dueling Facts in American Democracy.

The topic is something we talk about frequently among the Ballotpedia staff. Employing several years of original survey data and experiments, Marietta and Barker reach a number of enlightening and provocative conclusions: dueling fact perceptions are not so much a product of hyper-partisanship or media propaganda as they are of simple value differences and deepening distrust of authorities.

Ballotpedia Insights is a Q&A series with political and legal scholars, researchers, reporters, authors, and subject matter experts. Each installment features a new speaker and we ask them tailored questions designed to gain in-depth insight into their work. They’re a great opportunity to learn from some leading professionals involved in politics and policy. They’re free to register and attend.

There’s still time to register and attend by clicking the link below. And if you can’t make it, don’t worry. We’ll post a recording of it and email it to you after its conclusion.