Missourinet: Efforts to raise Missouri’s minimum wage on ballot in November general election

By Jason Taylor
Missourinet, Aug 10, 2018

One of the six ballot measures that Missouri will decide in November’s election would raise the state’s minimum wage. The group Raise Up Missouri collected more than 120,000 signatures to ensure the pay hike would be placed before voters.  The effort is also supported by Missouri Business for Fair Minimum Wage.

The ballot measure known as Proposition B would increase the minimum wage, starting next year, to $8.60 from the current $7.85, and gradually increase it by 85 cents a year until it reaches $12 an hour by 2023. ...

Missouri Business for Fair Minimum Wage is part of a national group that advocates for hikes in minimum pay across the country.  Two of its member business owners recently spoke with Missourinet.

Stacy Jurado-Miller heads the Vecino Group in Springfield, which is a real estate development firm that specializes in low-income housing.  She says taxpayers end up footing the bill for workers with low paying jobs.

“We deal in affordable housing, so every day we see what happens when hard-working Missourians can’t pay for their basic needs,” said Jurado-Miller.  “The result is as a state we’re paying one way or another when people can’t afford their rent.”

Howard Hanna owns two restaurants in Kansas City, the Rieger and Ca Va.  He claims all his kitchen and waitstaff make more than $12 per hour already and says raising the minimum wage will level the playing field for businesses.

“We’re having to compete against people who are paying the least they possibly can,” said Hanna.  “That makes it difficult for us to compete in the marketplace when our prices look high compared to others.  And it’s because we’re actually trying to do the right thing by our staff.”

Both St. Louis and Kansas City either enacted or had plans to implement minimum wage hikes before being overridden by the state legislature. ...

Backers of this year’s ballot measure rely on several studies to support their claim that boosting the minimum wage helps the economy. ...

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Copyright 2018 Learfield News & Ag, LLC

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