City leaders seek to raise St. Louis minimum wage to $15 an hour -

City leaders seek to raise St. Louis minimum wage to $15 an hour

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Aldermen have voiced their support for a plan to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by January 1, 2020.

Board Bill 83 will be introduced by Ward 25 Alderman Shane Cohn on Friday, according to officials.

In January of this year after President Barack Obama announced plans to raise the national minimum hourly wage to $10.10, Mayor Slay increased the minimum wage for all part-time city employees to $10.10 an hour. For full-time city employees, the existing minimum wage was already $12.21, Slay said.

Mayor Slay also asked other businesses to consider a similar increase.

According to Maggie Crane, director of communications for Mayor Slay, the proposal will include a jump to $10 an hour this year and a gradual increase to $15 an hour by January 2020.

The current minimum wage in Missouri is $7.65, a small increase from the federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25.

It is expected that the Bill 83 will exempt certain small businesses from the law, if it were to pass. Businesses with fewer than 15 employees, or gross sales less than $500,000 a year would be among those exempt.

St. Louis is the latest in a series of cities to propose a higher hourly minimum wage.

At the end of 2014, Chicago passed legislation that will raise the city's minimum wage to $13 by 2019. Chicago minimum wage earners will see their first raise, to $10 an hour, on July 1.

Kansas City leaders considered putting a vote on a $15 an hour minimum wage on the August ballot, but city council members did not make a decision in time for the vote to take place in August.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle have passed measures to gradually raise their minimum hourly wage to $15.

Opponents of minimum wage hikes say the increases could force employers to lay off minimum wage workers.

Crane said the amounts and timing of the bill to increase the wage in St. Louis are up for negotiation.

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