John Morgan To Florida Legislature: Thwart Minimum Wage, ‘I’ll Sue The State, And I’ll Win'

Nov 5, 2020
Originally published on November 5, 2020 6:43 am

Orlando Attorney John Morgan said he will sue if Florida lawmakers try to thwart implementation of a minimum wage amendment.

Morgan spent upwards of $5 million getting a $15/hour minimum wage amendment passed on election day.

Sixty-one percent of voters — just over the 60% level needed for passage — approved Amendment 2, which will raise Florida’s minimum wage to $10/hour in 2021 and to $15/hour in five years.

Morgan, speaking to reporters Wednesday, was asked about the Florida Legislature implementing Amendment 2. Morgan said the language in the amendment is unambiguous.

“I don’t know what they’re gonna do or try,” Morgan said. “I hope not. I’m lucky I’m friendly with them, so we can have a conversation. But if they try to undermine the will of the people, I’ll do what I did last time: I’ll sue the state. And I’ll win.”

Morgan said he has no plans to run for political office, and will not fund another constitutional amendment. He said getting a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage amendment will be his last real foray into politics.

“I never see a situation where I run for any political office in Florida,” Morgan said. “I’m just as happy with (Gov.) Ron DeSantis doing his good job up in Tallahassee. I never see myself doing another amendment. They’ve made it very difficult.”

Amendment 2 was opposed by business groups in Florida, including Associated Industries of Florida.

“It is unfortunate that this mandate on Florida businesses will be written into our state’s constitution,” said Brewster Bevis, senior vice president of state and federal affairs for AIF.

“AIF continues to believe that this will be a death knell for many small employers in our state who are already struggling with the economic slowdown caused by the continuing COVID pandemic. It is now an unfortunate and sad reality that job creators are going to have to struggle with moving forward.”

All six proposed constitutional amendments in Florida got more than 50 percent of the vote. But in Florida, 60 percent is the magic number for constitutional amendments.

Amendment 3 and Amendment 4 failed.

Amendment 3 would have eliminated Florida’s closed primary system for a top-two, or open primary, Amendment 4 was a dark-money funded amendment requiring future constitutional amendments be approved twice.

Three amendments passed with wide margins: A citizenship requirement to vote got more than 75 percent of the vote, and tax breaks for homeowners and the spouses of deceased veterans were also approved.

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7. To see more, visit WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7.