After defeat of ‘right-to-work’ law, labor groups and Democrats eye minimum wage

After notching a victory when Missouri voters rejected the state’s “right-to-work” law last month, some labor leaders and social activists are eyeing another ballot measure core to their cause: the state’s minimum wage vote in November.

Proposition B on the state’s November ballot would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2023. It would start with an increase to $7.80 in January and continue with annual raises of 85 cents.

Missouri voters last agreed to increase the state’s minimum wage in 2006, when it was hiked to $6.50 per hour, up from $5.15. The 2006 vote also introduced annual cost-of-living adjustments to the state’s minimum wage.

The state wage floor now stands at $7.85 per hour, but it hasn’t increased by more than 15 cents in a year since 2009.

Raise Up Missouri, a group advocating for the wage hike, has collected $1.74 million to support the cause. The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a “dark money” nonprofit, contributed $1 million of that back in May. Labor groups, prominent Democrats and other left-leaning organizations also have backed the effort.

Dan Mehan, president of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which opposes government-mandated pay rates, said he didn’t know whether a campaign against the minimum wage increase would emerge. But he added that “it would be a tough campaign to beat it.”

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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