Personal-injury lawyer John Morgan has spent millions in a push to get a $15 per hour minimum wage measure on the ballot in Florida.
Amid concerns working class pay has not kept pace with costs of living, seven states and Washington, D.C., have voted to boost their minimum wages to $15 per hour.
John Morgan has gathered the 766,200 signatures needed to let voters decide whether to raise the wage next year. Now, the Orlando-based personal injury attorney waits on the state Supreme Court to decide if it appears on the ballot.
Morgan, who runs a firm employing more than 500 lawyers, has enjoyed ballot success in the past. He piled money into a successful 2016 ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana.
“And what makes me hurt the most is watching other people hurt,” Morgan said in a phone interview. “And I don’t think that politicians really give a f—, really give a f—, about other people hurting.”
Morgan argues current laws allow businesses to pay “slave wages.”
Key business groups in Florida have lined up against the initiative. Hotel and restaurant groups have warned the pay floor could lead to lost service jobs.
“The people they are trying to help we believe will get hurt with this particular ballot initiative,” said Carol Dover, president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist who ran former President Barack Obama’s 2008 Florida campaign, said, “People count out John Morgan at their own peril. He’s relentless and tireless,” he said.
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