By Ted Scouten

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – If you get paid the minimum wage in Florida, you’re getting a raise starting Wednesday, June 1.

The state’s minimum wage is increasing by 6 cents to $7.31 an hour after a judge in Leon County found the state miscalculated the rate.

A lawsuit was filed because workers claimed the state violated the state constitution by keeping minimum wage at the $7.25 federal rate, which is the same as it was last year.

“My God, that’s pitiful!  Just pitiful!” said Andrew Ratliff as a sat in front of a computer looking for a job.  “I feel like it’s insulting to all the working people,” chimed in Erick Bath.  He too is out of work.  While many are happy to hear that the minimum wage has gone up, they don’t believe it’s realistic.

“I don’t I know how anyone can function making 7.31 an hour,” said Diane Fallmann.

That six cent increase comes out to $2.40 a week for a person who works full time.  That will not buy a lot for a family looking to put food on the table.  It barely is enough to pay for a loaf of bread.

Voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 that set a state minimum wage that would increase with inflation, which the judge found the state didn’t do when setting the rate.  But Nova Southeastern University Professor Dr. Albert Williams says the increase for inflation should be about 3%, this raise is only 1%.  “If you get anything over 3% a year increase, then you’ll cover inflation and you’ll have a little extra buying power,” Dr. Williams said.

The wage increase affects about 188,000 workers and those that work 40-hour work weeks will earn an additional $128 annually.

The minimum wage for workers like servers and bartenders who earn tips will increase from $4.23 to $4.29 per hour.


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