Bank-roller of Florida amendments says wage win is swan song

November 4, 2020 GMT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The wealthy attorney who bankrolled campaigns to raise Florida’s minimum wage and legalize medical marijuana says his electoral success in raising the state’s starting pay to $15 an hour over the next six years is his swan song in the voter initiative process.

Attorney John Morgan said Wednesday on a conference call that he was done with any future efforts to change the Florida Constitution through the amendment process. Two of his successes — medical marijuana and the minimum wage— were among the highest profile amendments in recent years.

Morgan, who is based in Orlando, spent $6 million on the effort to pass Amendment 2, which will raise Florida’s minimum wage from the current $8.56 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026. It was one of four amendments that Florida voters approved Tuesday night.


Business groups across Florida opposed the amendment, saying it would put a strain on the state’s pandemic-stressed economy and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“Last night, the working poor in Florida won in a very, very big way,” Morgan said. “Last night the people of Florida showed their good hearts and compassion.”

Morgan spent millions of dollars on the successful campaign to legalize medical marijuana in 2016.

Morgan, who says he doesn’t have a party affiliation, has been a top fundraiser for Democratic candidates. He said he was prepared to sue if the Florida Legislature made any attempts to alter Amendment 2.

“The good news is we have a law firm and lots of lawyers and I would love to take this in front of a jury,” Morgan said.