On Anniversary Of 'War On Poverty,' A Call For A Higher Minimum Wage

Jan 8, 2014

If the state's minimum wage goes up, some worry prices on consumer goods will follow suit.
Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Democratic Florida lawmakers used Wednesday’s 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson declaring war on poverty to push a measure they say will have a similar effect in the Sunshine State. But the bill’s authors concede it has little chance of passage.

The law would push Florida’s minimum wage up from just less than eight dollars an hour to more than $10 per hour. But even as he touted the bill as a way out of poverty for some low-wage workers, Sen. Dwight Bullard (D-Miami) acknowledged the legislation could drive prices up, too.  But Rep. Cynthia Stafford (D-Miami) says she believes the gains would at least equal the losses.

“It will balance out,” Stafford says. “Because again if you have more people buying the product, you’re going to have more people buying the product because more people can afford to buy the product.”

Still, when questioned by reporters about the likelihood of his bill passing the business-friendly, Republican-controlled Legislature, Bullard admitted it stands at best a slim chance.