Osceola County Considers Minimum Wage Increase

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) _ Osceola County officials are preparing to vote on an ordinance that would set one of the highest minimum wages for county employees.

The county’s Board of Commissioners will vote Monday evening in Kissimmee on whether to increase the minimum wage on county contracts to $11.66 an hour for the first year. The proposed rate would be almost 45 percent higher than the current Florida minimum wage of $8.05.

The ordinance was introduced by Commissioner Mike Harford, who says the higher wage would help keep employees above the poverty line. The ordinance would require hourly wages for workers on county contracts be tied into the federal poverty level. For 2016, that means someone who worked 40 hours a week for the entire year on a county contract would make the poverty level of $25,250 for a family of four.

Osceola Chamber of Commerce President and CEO John Newstreet tells the Orlando Sentinel that more studies about living wage ordinances should take place before a vote occurs.

Three Florida counties currently have living wage laws. Osceola would become the fourth county to adopt a living wage.