Ballot Amendment 2 Hurts You

Guest Correspondence

On your ballot is a state constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Argus Foundation strongly urges you to vote no and support our local seniors, families and small businesses.

This was placed on the ballot by wealthy personal injury attorney John Morgan, who has turned ballot initiatives into giant commercials for his law firm. His investment into this initiative reaps incredible advertising benefits for his firm in earned media and he uses it continually in paid promotions of his firm.

But what will his advertising investment cost us? A lot. You only need to look at the warning language with the question on the ballot yourself:

“This proposed constitutional amendment is estimated to have a net negative impact on the state budget. This impact may result in higher taxes or a loss of government services in order to maintain a balanced state budget as required by the constitution.”

Let that sink in, this proposal will result in those receiving a wage increase either losing services or paying more in taxes.

For those seniors on fixed incomes who are not going to receive a raise in income, you too will have to pay more to government or lose services as a result of this amendment. On top of that, you will also be paying more at the cash register to make up for the costs to business. The promoters of Amendment 2 even admit that prices will increase if this amendment passes. There is no way small business can absorb this.

The impact to families is negative as well. It will have a significant impact on childcare, which is already very expensive. In Seattle, a 2018 study by the Social Work and Society International Online Journal, found the Seattle minimum wage ordinance had a profound impact on daycares, “Providers’ most commonly responded to higher labor costs by raising tuition and reducing staff hours or headcount— strategies that may negatively impact low-income families and staff.”

For small business owners, the lifeblood of Sarasota County, many are facing the most challenging time of their lives with government-forced business closures and limitations due to COVID-19. Many businesses have closed. Many are barely hanging on, and many of those hanging on will close if this ballot amendment passes. It will be the final nail in the coffin for them. With closed businesses come layoffs, which leads to a worsening economy for everyone.

This is not the time to place more financial burdens on seniors, families and small businesses. Vote No on 2 because it will hurt your neighbors, and it will hurt you too. 

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation.

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