Debate on a bill that would prevent local governments from having a higher minimum wage than the state rate dominated Wednesday’s Missouri House floor debate, and a final vote is expected Thursday morning in Jefferson City.
The move to prevent local minimum wage hikes comes in response to the Feb. 28 Missouri Supreme Court decision to allow the City of St. Louis to raise its minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018. Legislation filed the next day flew through House committees and out to the floor this week, where the Democratic minority now staunchly opposes it.
Democrats opposed to the bill introduced more than a dozen amendments Wednesday, none of which were approved by the House.
State Rep. Clem Smith (D-Velda Village Hills) says the state government should keep its hands off of local policy. “Let’s not do to local governments what we say the federal government does to us,” he said, telling the assembly that it should let the City of St. Louis make its own decisions on wages.
The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Jason Chipman (R-Steelville), calls the St. Louis minimum wage increase a potential mishap, noting that such an increase will “destroy smaller competition.”
The House will finish debate on the minimum wage increase Thursday morning at the Statehouse. Despite some reservations on the part of a few Republicans, it is expected to pass.
Read more: Missourinet