The first bill filed for the 2016 Florida Legislature session is a bill that would increase the state minimum wage to $15. But don't expect the bill to ever become law.
State Sen. Dwight Bullard officially filed SB 6 on Wednesday, six months before the Legislature’s regular session starts in January. But recent history shows the bill has little chance of winning support in the Republican dominated Legislature or with Gov. Rick Scott who spoke against raising the minimum wage on the campaign trail.
Twice over the last two regular legislative sessions, Bullard, a Miami Democrat, has filed bills calling for the minimum wage to jump to $10.10 an hour. Those bills never even made it out of committee for a full vote of the House or Senate.
Still Bullard said by filling the bill at the higher amount he is hoping to see more momentum build for the idea of raising the wage. He said other states and cities around the nation are boosting their minimum wage and businesses he talks to are less resistant to the idea.
"I'm hopeful that conversation will continues about raising the wage," Bullard said on Wednesday.
Florida’s current minimum wage, which is $8.05 per hour, is not even enough for many people to even rent a place to live in many cities in the state, Bullard said.
The filing comes just days after a research and watchdog group Integrity Florida aimed to debunk the argument that raising the minimum wage results in lost jobs. The group found that 25 states raised the minimum wage, and every one experienced job growth except for West Virginia.
During his 2014 re-election campaign, Scott, a Republican, opposed the state raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.