On March 3, House Bill 47 (Senate Bill 114) had its first reading. If the bill is passed, Florida's minimum wage would be increased quite significantly; from $8.05 an hour to $10.10 an hour, effective Jan. 1, 2016. The bill amends Florida Statute 448.110; it increases state minimum wage; provides that an employer may not pay an employee at a rate less than state minimum wage and deletes the requirement that only individuals entitled to receive federal minimum wage are eligible to receive state minimum wage. HB 47 is sponsored by Representatives Cynthia A. Stafford (D-Miami-Dade), John Cortes (D- Osceola), Barbara Watson (D-Miami-Dade) and Clovis Watson Jr. (D-Alachua, Marion). The Senate version of the bill, SB 114, is sponsored by Senator Dwight Bullard (D-District 39). While the bills are still under review, it is evident there is a huge push towards raising minimum wage-- not just in Florida, but federally. In President Obama's State of the Union address in January of this year, he stressed the need for America's hard workers to receive a raise, championing a $10.10 federal minimum wage. The question remains: will this new minimum wage bill pass in the Florida Legislature? It's still in the early stages, so stay tuned to find out. You can track HB 47 at myfloridahouse.gov, and SB 114 at flsenate.gov.