250,000 Missourians get a raise
By AP/Maria Hickey, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – About 250,000 Missourians got a raise Monday.
Voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure in November to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $6.50. It went into effect Monday.
The measure includes an annual inflation adjustment and makes Missouri one of 29 states that require employers to pay more than the federal minimum wage of $5.15.
But even with the new law, some state lawmakers have suggested they may tinker with it.
But some lawmakers say the "indexing" provision, which will raise the minimum wage each year, is bad for business and they'll attempt to block it.
John Hickey is executive director of the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition---a group that worked for the wage increase. He says supporters of Prop B won't back down: "If Governor Blunt and Republican leadership in the Legislature tries to strip out indexing we will fight tooth and nail to keep it in there, because we feel that is important and 76% of Missourians agree with us."
Republican Senate Pro Tem Michael Gibbons says it's unlikely the General Assembly will change the indexing provision during this session.
But he says "indexing" will be watched closely to see if it does hurt businesses. If so, Gibbons says lawmakers might pick up the issue in the future.