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New acts and amendments on the 2020 ballot could affect our environment and economy

Posted at 2:42 AM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 02:42:11-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Reading the fine print is quite crucial, there are a few acts and amendments that could make a huge impact on our environment and our economy.

In Collier County, “Conservation Collier" is up for renewal. Voters passed this one back in 2003, allowing the county to collect property tax to buy land that can protect habitats or preserve water or water quality. Win Everham a Professor of Ecology and Environmental Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University says this one is worth renewal, even though it will hit people in the bank account.

“If our current development regulations were working we would see an increase in water quality and any measures of environmental health and we aren’t seeing that increase. So clearly we haven’t figured out the right way to develop land and that buying up more public help will help us protect our future,” said Win Everham.

Also on the ballot - the option to raise the state's minimum wage. If passed, Amendment 2 would gradually raise the minimum wage from $8.56 in 2020 to $15.00 in 2026. Tom Smythe, a Professor of Finance at FGCU points out the two key arguments surrounding raising the wage.

“It will raise the cost associated with human capital in any business, and if that particular business is dependent upon that type of labor it will raise that cost substantially. The total number of jobs declines for those who stay employed. That 15 dollars per hour is great, but for the people that may lose their jobs because employers can’t foot that bill for their workforce, obviously is not good,” said Tom Smythe.

Smythe says, on the other hand, there is a big plus to raising the state's minimum wage.

“As the price of labor for human gets to a certain point the investment into technology starts to make more sense,” said Smythe.

Smythe says to help improve the economic impact of raising the minimum wage we need to look at the fundamental issues with minimum wage jobs.

“Broader economic opportunity, investment in training, and investment in education. Of course, that’s not going to solve any problems in the short term, but I think we might be missing was the true cause of the problems are, by focusing exclusively on the debate of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” said Smythe.

Key Dates and Deadlines in Florida

Tues, Nov. 3: In-Person Voting
Fri, Nov. 13: Absentee/Mail-In Delivered By Date