After nearly two-thirds of Missouri voters approved in November raising the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour over several years, Republican lawmakers are leading a push to make drastic changes to the new law.
Four bills filed by Republican lawmakers propose to either change the rate at which minors will be paid, exempt religious and private schools from the law or repeal it entirely. Businesses and business groups around Mid-Missouri said they were not hurt by the first increase in the minimum wage earlier this year.
State Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, introduced a bill in January that would make technical changes to the language in the existing law and would clarify the difference between the public minimum wage and private minimum wage. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Industry heard the original version of the bill Thursday. In the coming days, Cunningham plans to introduce a substitute version of the bill, which would allow companies to pay minors just 85 percent of the minimum wage rate.
Cunningham told the Tribune he did not read the original version of the bill, and that it was just a placeholder until the substitute version was filed. Cunningham, who is a former grocery store owner, said the new version protects jobs for youths trying to enter the workforce.
Under federal law, full-time college students working less than 20 hours per week may be paid at 85 percent of the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. High school students under age 16 may also be paid at just 75 percent of the federal minimum wage.
“What I’m trying to do is protect jobs for kids,” Cunningham said. “And it’s going to protect adults because then you don’t have to pay adults at the same rate as a kid.”
Last year Tony Wyche served as the communications manager for Raise Up Missouri, a political action committee founded by St. Louis record retailer Lew Prince that led the push to pass Proposition B. Unlike Cunningham, the bill creates a disincentive to reward adult employees, Wyche said.
“Sen. Cunningham’s legislation creates a perverse incentive for employers to discriminate against older workers by hiring people they can pay less for the same work,” Wyche said in an email.
Missouri (especially Jackson County) Well Represented at DNC Meeting
Missouri Democratic Party and Jackson County's Own Jean Peters Baker, Vice Chair Clem Smith along with former JCDC and current MDP Executive Director Lauren Gepford and DNC Delegate Winston Apple of Independence attended the quarterly meeting of the national committee in Washington DC.
Fundraising for Staff: Keep Jackson County Democrats Strong
More than ten years ago, the Democratic Committee made a bold decision to hire a full-time Executive Director, setting Jackson County apart from other counties and allowing for year-round development and more long-term goal setting. Funding the Executive Director position comes through many small donations from engaged voters across the region. The county committee invested heavily in our candidates in 2018 so our funds are very low. To keep our county party working, we need to keep our staff funded. Please donate now to keep us as the leading county committee in Missouri.
Join us for the annual Wiggins Fund event February 28th 5:30pm at Crane Brewing Company in Raytown. This event will feature a number of elected and party officials discussing what is on the horizon for 2019 and the 2020 elections while supporting Jackson County Democrats staff.
2019 Truman Gala is Scheduled
Save the date for the 32nd annual Truman Gala: June 1, 2019 at Arrowhead Stadium. A line-up of speakers including a nationally prominent name will be announced closer to the event. Tickets will go in sale in March.
Upcoming Club Meetings and Events:
Moms Demand Action Advocacy Day: February 19, 10am at 422 Monroe St. Jefferson City, MO. Their biggest advocacy event of the year and the best chance to fight two expansive "guns everywhere" bills that have been introduced this year. Keep up with more information on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MomsDemandActionMO/
Raytown Democratic Association: monthly meeting Thursday, February 21. Come at 6pm for dinner, 7pm program featuring Raytown Mayor Mike McDonough and school board candidate LaShonda Oakes. LasChili's (6210 Raytown Trafficway).
Heartland Alliance for Progress: Monthly meeting (4th Monday of the month) February 25, 5:15-7:15pm at Californo's (4124 Pennsylvania Ave KCMO). Meet the KC City Council candidates for April's election. With a large number of candidates, this is a great opportunity to see who is running and learn a little about their campaigns. Bring friends!
Greater KC Women's Political Caucus: Candidate forum for Mayor, City Council and School Board followed by an endorsement vote. Thursday, February 28 at 5:30, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (4501 Walnut St. KCMO).