Lara Granich

Supporters of raising St. Louis' minimum wage listen to testimony Tuesday at St. Louis City Hall.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A decade after their last successful effort, Missouri backers of a higher minimum wage believe that 2016 may finally be their year for a successful replay.

“The ground is shifting really quickly in this country around the minimum wage,’’ said Lara Granich, Missouri director for the St. Louis-based group called Jobs With Justice. “The momentum is really growing, month by month.”

Alderman Joe Vaccaro, D-23rd Ward, said he doubts that a $15 an hour minimum wage can pass out of the Ways and Means Committee.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

When the St. Louis County executive put the kibosh on the county raising the minimum wage, it may have complicated St. Louis’ already challenging legislative effort.

That’s partly the view of Alderman Joe Vaccaro, the 23rd Ward Democrat who is now chairing a committee examining legislation raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. He said Steve Stenger’s comments took him by surprise – and added a layer of complexity to an issue that could reach a critical turning point this week.

Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

President Barack Obama sent a message during his State of the Union address to every mayor, governor and state legislator who want to increase the minimum wage: Don't wait on Congress, Americans will support more local government initiatives.