St. Louis aldermen give initial approval to $11 minimum wage

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave initial approval Tuesday to a measure that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2018.

The bill, which was approved by a 15-6 margin, faces one more vote on Friday. With approval, it would move on to Mayor Francis Slay, who has been an outspoken advocate of increasing the city’s minimum wage.

Slay initially called for St. Louis to raise its wage floor to $15 per hour — in line with minimum wage increases that have taken place in other big cities across the country. Aldermen started Tuesday debating a proposal to boost the minimum to $13 per hour by 2020 — mirroring a recent increase approved by the Kansas City Council — before arriving at the $11 plan.

Supporters of the measure say it will help workers who are struggling to survive on Missouri’s $7.65 minimum wage, increasing their spending power. Opponents argue it will lead employers in St. Louis to send jobs elsewhere.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Public Radio

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