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Courts / Law

Protests for $15 Minimum Wage in St. Petersburg

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Yoselis Ramos
Protestors rally outside City Hall for a minimum wage increase.

A couple dozen protesters chanted their slogans at the St. Petersburg City Hall Thursday morning, in support of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. 
 
Among the protestors was Sade Reed, a Certified Nursing Assistant and she's a single mother to her 5 year old daughter. She said she lives paycheck to paycheck. 
"What I do is very important and I enjoy what I do," she said, "So I take care of your family, why can't I take care of mine?"

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Credit Yoselis Ramos
Sade Reed is a single mother working as a CNA.

On Wednesday, the New York Wage Board approved a measure that would increase the minimum wage gradually over 6 years to employees across its state. Here in Florida, some folks are hoping for a similar action.

Senator Dwight Bullard from Miami filed a bill on Wednesday for the 2016 Legislative session that would increase the state minimum wage to $15,  but prospects of the bill passing are slim. Similar legislative measures have been filed in the past but have had a difficult time passing. 
 

Protestor Demetra Atkins is a childcare teacher who does not make more than nine dollars an hour, though she said she's gone back to school to get her early childhood certification.
 
"I just want them to really try," she said about officials. " We're  just asking you guys to try, don't say you can't do it. Try." 

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Credit Yoselis Ramos
House Representative Dwight Dudley spoke in favor of raising the minimum wage.

House Representative Dwight Dudley of St. Petersburg was at Thursday's protest and when asked if he would propose a bill too, he said,  "I only have six bill slots and this is sort of coming late because the session is earlier, but I'm sure there'll be a sponsor in the House-I'll be happy to co-sponsor it."

Governor Rick Scott opposed raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour during his re-election campaign last year.