FYI Miami: November 22, 2018
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MINIMUM WAGE IN COURT: The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments March 6 on whether Miami Beach can have a local minimum wage. The court on Monday scheduled the arguments. A 2016 city ordinance called for a local minimum wage of $10.31 an hour this year, then incrementally increased to $13.31 in 2021. The statewide minimum is now $8.25 an hour, and the federal minimum is $7.25. Business groups and Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office challenged the legality of the ordinance and won in circuit court and the 3rd District Court of Appeal. Miami Beach then went to the Supreme Court. The legal battle stems, in part, from a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment that gave Florida a higher minimum wage than the federal rate. Ms. Bondi’s office and the business groups argue that another state law effectively requires Florida’s minimum to be the same statewide and blocks localities from passing higher rates. But Miami Beach attorneys contend the 2004 amendment did not bar local governments from passing higher minimum wages.
PARKING FEE HIKE STALLED: For a fourth time, Miami commissioners put off a final vote to hike parking rates Nov. 15, while continuing to push the administration to increase rates at city-run marinas. A study of possible dockage rate hikes shows the city could make an extra $1.2 million a year at the marinas. Commissioner Joe Carollo, who’s been holding up the vote on raising parking rates, said the city should do even better. At the Nov. 15 meeting, Mr. Carollo moved to pull the parking rate hike from the agenda, “until I see the signature of the city manager on the additional things he said he’d do.” City Manager Emilio González said he’s still working on the marina rates. Mr. Carollo then moved to have both the parking rates and marina rates come back before the commission Dec. 13.
SKY LIGHT: Coral Gables is working out the “details and logistics” of the newest art installation that will hang above Giralda Plaza. It’s called ‘Sunlit Sky’ and doesn’t yet have an installation date. Sunlit Sky’s gold and silver metallic strips will reflect light as they move when the wind blows. It will be the first installation of Sunlit Sky in the US and the city will use the same vendor for the installation as for the prior Umbrella Sky installation there, Sextafeira Productions. Installation, maintenance, executing events and marketing for Sunlit Sky will cost roughly $150,000. It could be installed in December and is expected to be successful, according to Belkys Perez, marketing and events specialist for Coral Gables. Umbrella Sky was wildly successful, bringing in about $238,958 revenue over a two-month period.