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Missouri Senate committee backs minimum wage boost to $10/hour

The Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Rupp, today gave first round approval to SB 531, sponsored by Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-5, St. Louis City).

The bill, if approved by voters, would boost the state minimum wage to $10 per hour, increase from 50% to 60% of minimum wage the amount paid to tipped employees, and would provide automatic increases based on the inflation rate, regardless of whether the federal or state minimum wage is in effect.  The bill would also allow employees another full year to bring lawsuits against employers claiming they did not properly pay the minimum wage.  All provisions of the bill are subject to approval by voters in November 2014.

“As employers, it is hard to understand why it is so difficult for some people to grasp the concept that money doesn’t grow on trees,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “There is only so much money for payroll in a company and if more is given to each employee, there will be fewer employees that are paid.  Fewer workers generally means less production, making it even more difficult to compete with other states and foreign countries for jobs.  Although most manufacturing jobs pay much more than minimum wage, as the minimum wage rises, other wage rates tend to rise accordingly,” said McCarty.

Associated Industries of Missouri will work to block this bill from becoming law.

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