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Higher minimum wage

The Senate Commerce Committee voted Monday for a proposed constitutional amendment to increase Florida's minimum wage to $6.45 an hour. The amendment, if passed by voters in November, would require the state to set an hourly wage for every employee to guarantee an annual income above the federal poverty threshold, based on family size. Also Monday, state Sen. Winston "Bud" Gardner, D-Titusville, and state Rep. Harry Goode, D-Melbourne, said they would introduce a measure today urging the Florida Retirement System to "use its status" as a stockholder in large companies to hold down executive salaries. They pointed to the $78-million paid last year to Time-Warner's Steven Ross and other examples. Gardner compared the salaries to the $3.5-million it takes to pay 100 teachers and $2.5-million to hire 100 state social workers.

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