Mo. lawmakers vote to undo St. Louis City minimum wage hike -

Mo. lawmakers vote to undo St. Louis City minimum wage hike

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A new minimum wage in St. Louis could be undone under legislation heading to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Missouri's Republican-led Legislature gave final approval Friday to a bill banning cities from adopting minimum wages higher than the state's rate, which is currently $7.70 an hour.

The intent is to reverse a $10 an hour minimum wage that took effect May 5 in St. Louis after being upheld by the courts.

"The minimum wage increase is very exciting," said Lona's Lil Eats owner Pierce Powers III. "It's not only exciting for workers, it's exciting for the entire economy."

"These jobs were never meant to be a living wage," said Crown Candy Kitchen owner Andy Karandzieff. "What we need in the city are more businesses that can afford to pay a living wage."

"It's going to bring a lot more money, dispensable income, to people who use their entire paycheck every month," said Powers.

"I may have to raise my prices to make my payroll so I can keep my business and employ these people that are now making that much money," said Karandzieff. 

The Senate passed the bill despite vigorous opposition from Democrats. The House then did likewise in the final moments before the mandatory 6 p.m. deadline to end its work.

Republican lawmakers contend there should be a consistent minimum wage across the state.

Democrats have said it should be up to cities to decide local wages.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson issued this statement about the bill:

Today, the state legislature overturned the city minimum wage bill by preempting all cities from enacting their own minimum wage. The state has preempted cities from enacting laws on many issues, including guns, cold medicine and now our minimum wage.  Every city and town in our state does not have the same issues, needs or economy. A big city frequently has different problems than a very small one. This is a setback for working families. $7.70 is not enough. I will work with others to get an increase in the minimum wage on the ballot since our state legislature won't address it.

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