JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Several worker advocacy groups filed an amicus brief with the Missouri Supreme Court on Monday supporting the ability of local municipalities to raise the minimum wage above the state minimum wage.
Last year, House Bill 722 prohibited localities from creating a bag tax, fee, or ban on plastic bags used in grocery stores. In the Senate, the bill was expanded to include raising the minimum wage and benefit standards beyond the state minimum.
Municipal and Labor Law Scholars, the National Employment Law Project and Missouri Jobs with Justice filed the amicus brief arguing that raising the minimum wage in Kansas City should have been on the ballot.
They argue that the state minimum wage is a floor that other places, like Kansas City and St. Louis, can build off of by increasing the minimum wage within their jurisdiction.
The brief says the court should, “consider the broad grant of authority given to charter cities by the Missouri Constitution and “the growing consensus among courts that state minimum wage laws set a floor and allow localities to supplement with higher minimum wages.”
The state’s current minimum wage is $7.65 an hour. The Kansas City Council had voted last year to raise the city’s minimum wage to $13 an hour while the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted to increase the minimum wage to $11.
Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial, who sponsored HB 722 last year, was unavailable for comment.