Missouri Supreme Court upholds St. Louis minimum wage hike

St. Louis will be able to raise its minimum wage to $11 by 2018, after the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the city acted within its charter authority when it approved the hike.

The decision reverses a circuit court judge who struck down the increase in 2015, just hours before it was set to take effect.

The city was sued by business groups who said the ordinance conflicted with state law that caps the minimum wage at $7.65. Attorneys for the business organizations argued that without a state standard, there could be thousands of minimum wages throughout the state, leading to confusion rather than consistency.

Lawyers for the city contended the cost of living in St. Louis is substantially higher than other areas in the state, hence the need for a change.

In Kansas City, officials say the ruling for St. Louis could bolster legal arguments in favor of a higher minimum wage in the city if voters approve one in an upcoming election.

The original St. Louis would have raised the minimum wage gradually over time, making it $10 an hour this year and $11 an hour next year. On Tuesday, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said only that his administration would work with businesses on the timing of the increase.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star

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