Missouri lawmakers stop cities from raising minimum wage

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 17, 2015 12:54 AM

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - Missouri's majority Republican legislature voted on Wednesday to block Kansas City, St. Louis and other municipalities from raising minimum wages above the state's ceiling, overriding a veto of the bill by Governor Jay Nixon.

The Missouri House voted 114-46 and the Senate later voted 23-9, exceeding the two-thirds voted needed in each chamber to override the veto that Nixon, a Democrat, issued in July.

The House and Senate had passed the bill last spring after movements in the state's two largest cities to raise minimum wages beyond the state minimum of $7.65 per hour

Nixon called the bill "a clear example of unwarranted government intrusion" into the policymaking of local governments and their local control. Some business organizations argued that higher wages would force employers to eliminate jobs.

Nationally and in Missouri protests led by fast-food workers have added pressure to raise minimum wages, prompting some local governments to act.

The Kansas City Council recently approved gradual increases in the hourly minimum wage to $13 by 2020, although a public referendum is set for November to raise it to $15.

The St. Louis Board of Alderman recently approved an increase to $11 by 2018.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by David Bailey and Richard Pullin)