Florida’s governor Rick Scott made an appearance in California last month, where he invited business to migrate to Florida and escape minimum wage hikes. His selling point according to the Miami Herald was as follows, “Why are you paying your workers $10 an hour? Floridians will work dirt cheap!”.
Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, traveled to Milken Institute’s annual gathering of business leaders in Beverly Hills, California last month. The tax-funded trip took place following efforts made in California to raise the minimum wage to $15 over the course of the next 6 years. According to Miami Herald, “Scott says the wage hike will cost the state 700,000 jobs.” But this projection was based on the opinion of a conservative “think tank” and did not include any concrete figures based on California’s official job data. By contrast, a study at the University of California-Berkeley’s Labor Center concluded there would be, “no net job loss in Los Angeles as a result of the state’s phased-in pay increases.”
This was not the first time Rick Scott made his way to California to share his thoughts on the benefits of a lower minimum wage. Governor Scott’s last attempt was back in March 2015, when he traveled to California with the same agenda. In addition, “census figures from 2014 indicate that more Florida residents are moving to California than going the other direction.”
Part of Rick Scott’s argument for lower minimum wage rates is the reality of competing with companies that are outsourcing jobs to Mexico, China, and Vietnam to keep labor costs low. In Florida, multi-millionaires make the migration, because there are no state income taxes. Corporations also benefit from lower tax rates in Florida in comparison to other states. In fact, Rick Scott has made it apparent in the past that eliminating the corporate tax completely is one of his goals.
Governor Rick Scott: “Eliminate Florida’s corporate income tax over seven years. Fully phasing out the corporate income tax over time will have a large positive benefit for Florida’s economy while having a minimal impact on state revenues. Total state tax revenues will benefit from the dynamic economic growth created by the corporate income-tax phaseout.” – 7 Steps. 700,000 Jobs. 7 Years.
The Miami Herald suggests that elected officials “insist on keeping the wage floor so low that millions of full-time workers must depend on safety-net programs to make ends meet.”
After many Florida cities began raising wages for city contractors, the state Legislature passed laws in 2003 that prevented local jurisdictions from passing minimum wage legislation for privately employed workers. This was met with opposition the year following, when an overwhelming majority of local Florida residents voted in approval of a constitutional amendment that reserved the cities’ rights to raise private-sector minimum wages. The legislators of Florida responded by amending the 2003 law with changes that according to the Miami Herald, “make it even harder for cities to take care of their own“. Local officials are now focusing efforts toward plans of action to improve Florida’s minimum wage laws.
Several Florida counties have issued “wage theft ordinances”, and “St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has expanded access to paid leave and raised the minimum wage for city employees.”
Have you or has someone you know experienced illegal wage theft or are the victim of a wage and hour dispute in Tampa? The best thing you can do for anyone in this situation is seek the advice of an experienced employment law attorney. Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P. A., today to set up a free confidential consultation.