Florida Minimum Wage Increases Jan 1
Marianna, FL - Felicia Rinks, 22 years old, works at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Marianna. She earns just above Florida's current minimum wage of $7.31 per hour at $7.50 per hour.
A mother of five, she said it's difficult at times to make ends meet.
"It's pretty tough. I have to work extra a lot, a lot of overtime," said Rinks.
But by this time next week, she and thousands of others in eight different states will soon be getting a raise. Along with Florida, workers in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Vermont, and Washington will be making at least $7.67 per hour.
Rinks already makes a quarter more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage, and come January she'll be making at least 16 cents more on top of that. But, she said that's not enough.
"I really think it should be more because cost of living is horrible and then if you have kids, you have to worry about that. It's hard to live off of minimum wage," said Rinks.
Colorado will see the smallest increase with $7.64 per hour, Washington the highest with $9.04. Florida didn't even have a mandatory minimum wage until voters approved one in 2004.
Some Floridians may notice an increase in their paychecks come January 1.
Florida joins seven other states who are increasing their minimum wage at the start of new year.Florida's minimum is currently $7.31 an hour. It's expected to increase by about 4.9 percent to $7.67 an hour next year. But some say the increase could hurt local businesses looking to hire.
"I think small business is already limited somewhat with the economy and this is just another added problem, difficulty, maybe not a problem," says Freddy Williams.
Wages for tipped employees would increase from $4.29 an hour to $4.65.