Minimum Wage | St. Louis Public Radio

Minimum Wage

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 15, 2012 - As of January 1, Missouri’s state minimum wage will increase to $7.35 an hour – or 10 cents above the federal minimum wage.

And not everyone is pleased.

Wash U Will Raise Its Minimum Hourly Wage To $15 By 2021

Jun 26, 2019
The City of Clayton has apologized to the 10 black Washington University students involved in the July 7 incident.
File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

After a year of Fight for $15 protests, Washington University’s chancellor announced on Tuesday that he will raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 for regular employees and basic service contractors by July 1, 2021.

The decision affects about 1,200 regular and contracted workers, according to the Service Employees International Union Local 1.

Boxes of signatures were delivered to the Sec. of State's office on May 2, 2018, for a ballot initiative that would raise Missouri's minimum wage.
File photo | Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

In the last month of Missouri's legislative session, lawmakers are likely to change — if not completely eliminate — some of the initiative petitions the state’s voters passed in November.

Republican leaders in both the state House and Senate said they are prepared to make changes to Amendment 1, an ethics proposal also known as Clean Missouri. The House has already passed a bill chipping away at the minimum wage increase, and the Senate has debated, though not approved, a measure that would allow younger employees and tipped workers to make less.

Union members and supporters gathered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall this month to notarize and count petition signatures to block Missouri's new right-to-work law. (Aug. 8, 2017)
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

An election cycle in Missouri that saw 371 petitions submitted to change the state’s laws or constitution is prompting a new discussion among lawmakers about ways to limit the process.

The House Committee on Elections and Elected Officials heard several hours of testimony on nine proposals Wednesday, though it did not vote on any of them. Measures making similar changes are awaiting first-round approval in the Senate.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Signs $15 Min. Wage Increase Into Law

Feb 19, 2019

Illinois became the first state in the Midwest Tuesday to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the measure at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. 

The Missouri state minimum wage will increase from $7.85 an hour to $8.60, after voters approved Proposition B in November.
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The new year means an increase to Missouri's minimum wage, but not all business owners are on board.

Starting Jan. 1, the minimum wage will increase from $7.85 an hour to $8.60. The raise comes after voters approved Proposition B in November, which calls for boosting the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023. Although Prop B passed by a wide margin, business owners remain divided over whether the increase will ultimately benefit Missouri workers.

Benjamin Singer, communications director for Clean Missouri, announces victory in the contest to pass Amendment 1 to supporters at Flamingo Bowl in St. Louis.
File photo I Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri voters approved a sweeping overhaul of state legislative redistricting, raising the minimum wage and legalizing medical marijuana, but rejected a gas tax increase.

Of all of the initiative petitions on Tuesday’s ballot, the most contentious was Clean Missouri — on the ballot as Amendment 1. Voters approved it by a wide margin — 59-40, with close to 60 percent of the votes reported — a result propelled by a well-organized and well-funded campaign. Passage is a huge victory for Democratic activists seeking to advance their party’s state House and Senate prospects after the next census.

A sign in support of Prop B hangs at Bridge Bread on Cherokee Street.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

After years of starts and stops, activists in favor of raising Missouri’s minimum wage may finally find success this year with a ballot proposition that increases the state’s wage floor from $7.85 an hour to $12 an hour by 2023.

That’s because proponents of the increase, on the ballot as Proposition B, are flush with cash, while opponents did not set up a campaign committee to raise money. Still, since the measure is a statute, critics of the plan could turn to the General Assembly to make changes.

Attendees listen as President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse. July 26, 2018
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann round up some of the week’s biggest developments in the 2018 elections.

One of the topics Rosenbaum and Lippmann take a look at this week is President Donald Trump’s aluminum and steel tariffs — and how they may affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate contest.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley spoke in the St. Louis area on Aug. 30, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Both of the major candidates for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat were in the St. Louis area on Thursday, seeking to emphasize issues that will help their cause in November.

For McCaskill, Thursday’s topic was her support for a minimum-wage hike and opposition to right to work. Hawley zeroed in, once again, on Brett Kavanaugh’s pending nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Legal medical marijuana
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri voters could have several marijuana proposals to choose from this fall, along with ballot issues that seek to increase the state’s minimum wage and change Missouri’s process for crafting legislative districts.

Backers turned in signatures for six initiative-petition proposals by Sunday’s deadline. Four of them deal with marijuana.

Two of the proposals would legalize marijuana for medical use, while two others would legalize it for recreational use as well.

Boxes of signatures were delivered to the Sec. of State's office on May 2, 2018, for a ballot initiative that would raise Missouri's minimum wage.
File photo | Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

Business owners and workers from across Missouri met Wednesday in Jefferson City to turn in more than 120,000 signatures for a November ballot initiative to raise Missouri’s minimum wage.

The initiative, spearheaded by Missouri Business for Fair Minimum Wage and Raise Up Missouri, 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.

Statewide population data shows that females in Missouri ages 16 and older who work full-time jobs all year won’t earn as much as men until 2066.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

While pay for most Missouri women lags behind that of men, leaders at the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis say some local businesses are leading the way in compensation as well as hiring and promoting women.

The organization released results from a 2017 Employment Scorecard survey ahead of Equal Pay Day, April 10, a symbolic date that draws awareness to pay inequality between men and women, and some cases among women themselves. 

Jonathan Jones, owner of Southwest Diner, will continue to pay employees $10 an hour. July 14, 2017.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A campaign committee angling to put a minimum wage increase on next year’s Missouri ballot has received more than $500,000 from several nonprofit groups.

These contributions come amid a fierce debate over politically active nonprofits’ influence on elections. Such groups are not required to reveal their contributors or how they spend their money.

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed holds up a petition at a rally at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company on Monday. Raise Up Missouri is gathering signatures to put a statewide $12 an hour initiative on the ballot. Aug. 28, 2017
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:30 p.m. with details from rally — Several elected officials across Missouri endorsed an effort Monday to raise the state's minimum wage. Their backing came the same day that St. Louis' $10-an-hour minimum wage, in effect since May 5, dropped to $7.70 an hour due to a new state law. 

File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ $10-an-hour minimum wage is a thing of the past. So is a Missouri resident’s ability to sue when he or she thinks age or race was part of the reason for being fired.

That’s because several new laws have taken effect as of Monday.

GOP Gov. Rauner vetoes Illinois' $15-an-hour minimum wage hike

Aug 25, 2017
File photo | WUIS Radio

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a plan Friday to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 over five years. 

Tierra White holds her two-year old daughter, Taylor, during a Save the Raise rally outside Southwest Diner on Friday, July 14, 2017. The diner's owner has announced it will continue to pay workers $10 an hour.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 1:45 p.m. July 14 with details about push to keep St. Louis wages the same — When it became clear the Republican-controlled state legislature wouldn’t be raising the minimum wage above $7.70 an hour, leaders in St. Louis and Kansas City took matters into their own hands.

But their wage increases will be a thing of the past come Aug. 28, as Gov. Eric Greitens will let go into effect — but not sign — a bill requires all cities to stay at the statewide minimum. It prevents Kansas City from implementing its $8.50 an hour wage in September, and will knock out St. Louis’ recent shift to $10 an hour.

Fast food workers take part in a protest organized by Show Me $15 outside a McDonald's on Natural Bridge Road in St. Louis on March 15, 2017. They want the city's $10 minimum wage increase to be enforced immediately.
File photo | Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

If it were up to Cynthia Sanders, St. Louis would sue to stop a state bill from voiding the city’s minimum wage increase. Sanders, a janitor who saw her pay go from $8.50 an hour to $10 an hour earlier this year, said it’s not right for workers like her to get a raise “and then just take it back.”

It isn’t clear whether there will be a lawsuit, but if so, Mayor Lyda Krewson won’t be the one behind it. The Democrat told St. Louis Public Radio in a statement that while she strongly supports the city law bringing the minimum wage up to $11 an hour by 2018, the legislature has the right to overturn it.

State Rep. Bruce Franks takes part in a recording of Politically Speaking at Yaquis on Cherokee.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies shook things up, recording the show with state Rep. Bruce Franks on Wednesday in front of a live audience at Yaquis on Cherokee in St. Louis.

Franks, a St. Louis Democrat, was elected to the Missouri House last year to represent the 78th District, which stretches from Carr Square to Dutchtown in the eastern part of the city.

File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s workers will bear the brunt of sweeping policy changes that were approved during the 2017 session.

With Republicans firmly in control of the governor’s office and both chambers of the legislature, they took the opportunity to back long-awaited policy proposals, including making it harder for employees to sue for discrimination and blunting the power of labor unions.

House Democrats, including Rep. Bruce Franks Jr., raise their hands to speak about the $10-an-hour minimum wage in St. Louis.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Forty-five bills to Gov. Eric Greitens later, the Missouri General Assembly adjourned Friday having dealt with some high-priority items like right to work, banning cities from raising their minimum wage, complying with a federal ID mandate and making it harder to sue for workplace discrimination.

But other sought-after bills fell by the wayside, including one that would have allowed Missouri to shed its status as the last state in the U.S. without a prescription drug monitoring program and another getting rid of lobbyist gifts to officeholders — something Greitens campaigned on.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House and Senate traded a few bills Wednesday, including an amended one that would bring more specificity to a state ban on so-called "sanctuary cities." But nothing was sent to Gov. Eric Greitens all day.

Here’s a deeper look at what happened in the Capitol:

St. Louis' Civil Courthouse - May 2017
Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

Businesses in St. Louis will have to pay their employees at least $10 an hour starting Friday, rather than the state's minimum of $7.70.

A circuit court judge lifted an injunction against a city ordinance on Thursday, a little over a week after the Missouri Supreme Court declined to reconsider its February ruling upholding the law

Missouri unions assess losses, victories on May Day

Apr 30, 2017
Members of labor unions watch speakers at a rally last year in St. Charles.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

International Workers’ Day, often marked by protests, marches and celebrations by organized labor, may be muted in Missouri this year due to restrictions passed by the state legislature.

“We’ve definitely taken a few hits this year, there’s no doubt,” said Pat White, president of the St. Louis Labor Council AFL-CIO.

Fast food workers take part in a protest organized by Show Me $15 outside a McDonald's on Natural Bridge Road in St. Louis on March 15, 2017. They want the city's $10 minimum wage increase to be enforced immediately.
File photo | Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 26 with city of St. Louis' statement and state legislation status:

 

The city of St. Louis expects to increase its minimum wage within the next few days. It is waiting for an injunction to be lifted now that the Missouri Supreme Court has decided not to reconsider an earlier ruling that allowed the city to establish a higher rate that the state of Missouri. In a statement released Wednesday, Mayor Lyda Krewson said the decision is a "win for our city's working families."

Fast food workers take part in a protest organized by Show Me $15 outside a McDonald's on Natural Bridge Road in St. Louis on March 15, 2017. They want the city's $10 minimum wage increase to be enforced immediately.
File photo | Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

The business organizations that took St. Louis' law to raise the minimum wage to the Missouri Supreme Court filed a motion Wednesday for it to be reheard.

It was the last day they could challenge last month's ruling that upheld the city's law.

State Rep. Jean Evans, R-Manchester, is stepping down to become Missouri Republican Party's executive director.
File photo I Tim Bommel I House Communications

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jenny Simeone welcome state Rep. Jean Evans to the program.

The Manchester Republican is serving her first term in the Missouri House. She represents the 99th state House District, which takes in Manchester, Valley Park and Twin Oaks.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court is OK with St. Louis raising its minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018. Missouri lawmakers are a different story.

The House passed combined House bills 1194/1193 that would block St. Louis, Kansas City and other cities from boosting the minimum wage above the state’s, which is currently $7.70 an hour. That wage is adjusted for inflation every Jan. 1.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signs an increase in the St. Louis minimum wage into law on Aug. 28, 2015.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:50 p.m. Feb. 28 — St. Louis' minimum wage can go up to $11 by 2018, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Its unanimous opinion ruled that a 2015 ordinance does not conflict with the state’s minimum wage of $7.65 an hour.

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