Missouri Republicans passed a pre-emption law to block St. Louis from daring to raise its minimum wage to $10. But that’s not the end of the story. Even after that state law enforcing a low minimum wage passed, Kansas City voters passed a minimum wage increase:
At the polls Tuesday, 69 percent of Kansas City voters approved a question that calls for a city wage floor of $10 an hour, effective Aug. 24, 2017, plus annual increases of $1.25 an hour, beginning Sept. 1, 2019, until the minimum reaches $15 an hour in 2022.
It passed citywide on a vote of 23,463 to 10,763, in unofficial final returns, with overwhelming support from south of the Missouri River tempered by less enthusiasm from voters in the Northland.
That Kansas City measure will be blocked unless a court challenge to the state pre-emption law succeeds. But there’s another possibility for Missouri workers statewide:
Meanwhile on Tuesday, a different group advocating higher wages stood on the City Hall steps to launch a statewide initiative petition campaign. Its goal is to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.70 an hour to $12 by 2023 by winning a statewide public vote in 2018.
That would be an effective way to answer state Republicans and raise wages for low-wage workers at the same time.