Minimum Wage

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A proposed constitutional amendment to create a $6.15 state minimum wage tied to inflation will be on the ballot this fall.

The federal minimum wage, which hasn't changed in seven years, is $5.15. The measure to raise it in Florida is backed by the national group ACORN, which has pushed for higher wages in cities across the country. Sponsors collected more than 900,000 signatures in their campaign.

Across the nation, 12 states and the District of Columbia have adopted higher minimum wages than the federal government. Last week the New York Legislature approved a bill that would add that state to the roster if approved by Gov. George Pataki.

Supporters of a higher minimum wage say full-time workers are still below the official poverty level. But organizations representing Florida's retailers and restaurants are opposed to the measure, which they say will slow down job growth and hurt the very people it hopes to help.