A bill intended to quash St. Louis’ minimum wage increase looked to be on the fast track this session, but it’s now on hold in the Missouri Senate as Republicans mull an overture to Democrats to avoid a filibuster.
Senate Democrats have been threatening to block House Bill 1194/1193, which, as currently written, would bar cities and counties from raising the minimum wage higher than the state’s $7.65 an hour rate.
They say the measure would deny cities and counties the freedom to decide how much their citizens should be paid.
But Republicans, who have argued the bill is necessary because the market, not government, should set the wage, are offering to make it less stringent in order to get it to Gov. Eric Greitens before the 2017 session ends May 12.
Though GOP Senate leaders Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City and Dan Hegeman of Cosby wouldn’t specify what changes they might make, Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, said Friday that Republicans are offering to let municipal workers in St. Louis and Kansas City get the increase, but not those in private sector, such as fast-food workers.
Kehoe told reporters Thursday that he’s committed to making sure there’s only one minimum wage in Missouri.
Read more: St. Louis Public Radio