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Poll: Florida voters support minimum wage hike, split on requiring fees for felon voting

Although the majority said Florida’s minimum wage should be higher, respondents disagreed on the amount.
[Associated Press | 2016]
[Associated Press | 2016]
Published Jun. 20, 2019
Updated Jun. 20, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — A majority of Florida voters, including a majority of Republicans, support raising the state’s minimum wage, according to a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University that was released Thursday, which found 76 percent of respondents supported an increase.

By how much? On that point there’s less agreement.

Thirty-six percent backed raising it to $15 per hour, while 43 percent said they would support a lesser increase. Florida’s minimum wage is currently $8.46.

Prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan has been leading a push to put an amendment on the ballot which would raise Florida’s minimum wage to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021, then increase by a dollar each year until it hits $15 in 2026.

Meanwhile, respondents were almost evenly split on the state Legislature’s decision to require people convicted of felonies to pay off all their fines, fees and restitution before being allowed to vote under Amendment 4. Forty-five percent said they supported the payment requirement, with 47 percent opposed.

RELATED COVERAGE: Florida Republicans reach Amendment 4 deal: Felons must pay, but judges can waive costs

‘I paid my dues:’ Tampa voters blast Amendment 4 bill requiring fees and restitution

Men and white voters tended to support the idea, while women skewed opposed. Black voters were decidedly against it, with 61 percent opposed and 37 percent in favor.

As in past polls, the majority of respondents (57 percent versus 39 percent in favor) were opposed to “allowing trained teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds,” as it was worded in the survey. Fifty-nine percent also said they would support a ban on the sale of assault weapons in the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to ride positive approval ratings overall, as this poll found 55 percent of respondents approve of the job he’s doing, with 22 percent disapproving. However, he’s lost the backing of many Democrats, which contrasts a March poll also conducted by Quinnipiac that found even a plurality of Democrats supported him.

In his first few months on the job, DeSantis focused on several issues that united the parties, including restoring the Everglades and allowing patients to smoke medical marijuana. But in the last few months, especially during the Legislative session, DeSantis and his fellow Republicans brought much more contentious issues come to the fore, such as banning so-called “sanctuary cities.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Rick Scott has 41 percent job approval, with 44 percent of respondents disapproving. Sen. Marco Rubio’s numbers are only slightly better, at 45 percent approval with 41 percent disapproval.

For this poll, Quinnipiac surveyed 1,279 Florida voters from June 12 - 17 by randomly calling both landlines and cell phones with live interviewers. The margin of error is 3.3 percentage points.

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