St. Louis may be next city to raise minimum wage

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis could be the next city to raise its minimum wage significantly, if Mayor Francis Slay has his way.

Slay spokeswoman Maggie Crane on Tuesday confirmed that the Democratic mayor wants to raise the city’s minimum. A starting point for discussion is $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2020, Crane said, but details are still being ironed out.

Alderman Shane Cohn, a Democrat, said on Twitter that he will file a formal bill on Friday. He did not return a phone call seeking details.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009. As of Jan. 1, 29 states and Washington, D.C., had minimum wages higher than the federal standard.

Some cities have also taken action. Last year, Seattle approved an increase that will eventually reach $15 an hour, the highest in the country. Chicago and San Francisco have also upped the minimum wage.

In Missouri, cities face a deadline if they want a different minimum wage than the state has. That’s because lawmakers last month passed a bill prohibiting cities from adopting local policies, including a local minimum wage, but cities with a different one in place before Aug. 28 would be exempt.

A Kansas City effort by faith-based, labor and social justice groups gathered nearly 4,000 signatures on a petition toward a ballot measure raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2020. The City Council decided not to put the measure on the Aug. 4 ballot after opposition from the business community.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James has said he will work for some type of minimum wage increase, and council members said they hope for a decision by mid-July.

A message seeking comment from a spokesman for the St. Louis Regional Chamber regarding Slay’s effort was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Bettie Douglas, 51, a McDonald’s worker and a member of St. Louis’ Fight for $15 chapter, lauded Slay “for sticking up for the tens of thousands of workers like me in our city who are living in crushing poverty.”

“If we can win here in St. Louis, we can win anywhere,” Douglas said in a statement.

Sedalia Democrat
comments powered by Disqus