The fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 has succeeded in several cities and now some in Florida are pushing statewide efforts to do the same. Which is why this week there will be 18 Florida lawmakers living on a $17 daily minimum wage to promote legislation to increase it from the current $8.05 per hour threshold.
The group, consisting of mostly Democratic lawmakers, will take home only $17 per day, which is what the minimum wage worker's typical daily earnings are after taxes, child care and housing bills are accounted for.
In late July, Florida Democrats proposed a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour in the hopes that it would pressure the state's Republican-led Congress to act. But the GOP politicians have pushed back, arguing that the increase would raise prices of goods and services as well as harm the state's appeal to outside businesses.
Florida's current $8.05 minimum wage is only slightly higher than the federally mandated minimum of $7.25. Recognizing the $7.25 minimum wage as unviable for many people, some cities have raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour, Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City among them.
As part of the campaign, lawmakers will also go grocery shopping with minimum wage workers.
"I'm excited that we have representatives willing to walk a few days in my shoes and see what it's like," said 26-year-old Bleu Rainer, who has been a fast-food employee for eight years yet still makes minimum wage.
The growing national push for a $15 minimum wage has seen a #FightFor15 campaign specifically targeting fast-food workers emerge across the country. Increasingly, minimum wage workers are older than they used to be, many of them with families of their own.
Statistics have shown that a minimum wage hike benefits low- and moderate-income households than any other groups, The New York Times reported.
In fact, the debate on whether to increase the minimum wage or not is likely to become an issue for the 2016 election candidates, as talking points on fixing income inequality will almost definitely touch upon a fair minimum wage. (Already, President Obama has endorsed a federal minimum wage increase to $10.10.)
Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley have embraced a $15 federal minimum wage. A couple of Republican presidential contenders, too, have voiced support of some kind for a minimum wage hike.