Although the Florida minimum wage set at $8.46 an hour is higher than the federal minimum wage, it still is an incredibly insufficient source of income that often forces workers to live paycheck to paycheck. This is why I support a minimum wage that is at or above the income it takes for every Floridian to make ends meet and pay for their basic needs. Once implemented, the minimum wage will be adjusted for inflation so we don't need to keep passing legislation to increase it.
Additionally, Florida voters should consider supporting Amendment 2 this November in the General Election which will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 and will be adjusted for inflation from thereon.
Healthcare is a human right plain and simple. Florida has the 4th largest uninsured rate at a whopping 13 percent of the state. This is a crime, especially with Covid-19 ripping through the most vulnerable communities. Moreover, there are millions of people who have insurance but face exorbitant prices on their premiums, co-pays, deductibles along with their prescription drugs. That is why I support a single-payer health insurance program for the state of Florida. We need a healthcare system that provides healthcare to everybody with no ludicrous costs. Though taxes will be implemented, your out of pocket costs for premiums co-pays and deductibles will be negligent, thus saving money for everyone and providing healthcare for every Floridian.
Moreover I will of course support Medicaid Expansion for Florida along with having the State directly negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared in 2018 that we have 12 years left to be net neutral when it comes to carbon emissions in order to prevent a 1.5 degree celsius rise in our global temperatures. The 1.5 degree celsius rise is considered the threshold for how much carbon emissions our planet can sustain before undue climate disaster will be the new normal for the globe. This report urges the world to take on a World War II like mobilization to prevent this temperature increase from occurring. This is why I believe in a Green New Deal for the State of Florida. We can push for the Sunshine State to invest in jobs in the solar and renewable energy fields, land conservation, etc. all while ensuring workers have a living wage, healthcare, and collective bargaining rights.
Union membership has been gutted in Florida dramatically. Unions members only comprise 6.2% of all wage and salaried worker. That is why we should end Right-to-work laws in the state of Florida and increase collective bargaining rights significantly.
Across the United States, rent has increased while wages have remained stagnant, but particularly here in the State of Florida. On top of that, luxury developments in historically poor areas have displaced low-income people out of their homes into increasingly poor suburban areas. I will fight for affordable housing through allocating 6 Billion from our state budget to public housing, and I will fight for rent control for tenants across the State of Florida.
In the meantime, we will work to eliminate impact fees for affordable housing development, along with ensuring that the Sadowski Fund (a state program funding affordable housing development) is not being used for other means in the general revenue fund.
In Florida we are deeply plagued by the problems of mass incarceration and excessive police in primarily minority and low income neighborhoods. We have roughly 170,000 people behind bars and 215,000 people on probation. A good chunk of those in jail are for low level crimes and drug offenses. We should decriminalize drug possession and make sure people get options for rehabilitation, and get rid of mandatory minimum sentences on drug trafficking charges. Moreover we should give equivalent funding to public defenders as prosecutors receive, and end cash bail.