OKEECHOBEE – How will the state’s minimum wage increase affect Okeechobee County government?
In September 2021, Florida’s minimum wage will be $10. In the 2020 election, voters approved an amendement to the state’s constitution to raise the minimum wage to $15 by Sept. 30, 2026. At the May 13 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commissioners, the board was told none of the county employees are paid below $10/hour. The lowest paid county employee makes $10.57/hour.
“In year two, how many people are under $11 a hour?” asked Commission Chair Burroughs. That’s where the minimum wage will be in Sept. 30, 2022.
“The people who voted this in are going to see, it’s going to cost the taxpayers,” said Burroughs.
Commissioner Brad Goodbread suggested they increase the pay classifications 3% across the board.
“If the consensus of the board is to hold off for this year because we don’t have anybody who is below $10, then fine,” said Commissioner Kelly Owens. She suggested they set a day for a workshop to review the salaries and pay classification issues.
Burroughs suggested this year, they increase the pay classifications by 3%.
Human Resource Director Mariah Anuez said the county is already having trouble attracting new employees. “If we only move it 3%, that is not going to be enough of a draw,” she said.