Missouri Times: Group pushes to raise Missouri’s minimum wage

By Alisha Shurr
Missouri Times, May 2, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri business owners and workers gathered in the state Capital to turn in signatures in an effort to put raising the minimum wage to a vote of the people.

Raise Up Missouri submitted more than 120,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office on May 2 and was joined by Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a group of over 200 business owners supporting the initiative.

The initiative would increase Missouri’s minimum wage from its current rate of $7.85 an hour to $8.60 in 2019 and then increase by 85 cents a year until it reaches $12 an hour in 2023.

“I don’t have to tell you the cost of everything to take care of your family has gone up over the years,” said Lew Prince, treasurer of Raise Up Missouri. ... “Right now, Missouri parents who make minimum wage are struggling to put food on the table.” ...

“The idea that paying a higher minimum wage hurts business growth is a complete fallacy,” said Scott Sandler, owner of Pizza Head in St. Louis. “[It] is based on the false assumption that productivity stays the same.”

He said the paying the current minimum wage is telling workers you don’t value them. Using his own business as an example, he says paying his workers a living is good for business. A fair wage lowers employee turnover — which saves time and money — and results in better customer service and higher productivity.

Raising the minimum wage is “good for workers, businesses, and the local economy,” according to Pam Hausner, owner of Big Visions Design in Kansas City.

According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, the proposal would result in an increase of more than $1 billion in consumer buying power in Missouri.

“Business owners need customers with money in their pockets, spendable money,” said Prince.  ...

“Raising the minimum wage is not about charity,” said Sandler. “It is about building strong and a strong economy where working people earn enough to support themselves and buy the products and services our businesses are selling.”

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Copyright 2018 Missouri Times

 

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