Election Day is drawing closer and the sides in the minimum wage ballot initiative are doing what they can to get out their messages. Approval of Proposition B would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50 an hour and would tie future increases to the cost of living.
Gary Marble, President of Associated Industries of Missouri, is a spokesman for the Save Our State’s Jobs Coalition – which opposes the wage hike. He argues the minimum wage was never intended to be a living wage, adding there are very few minimum wage earners who are family bread winners.
Sara Howard with the Give Missourians A Raise Coalition rejects the claim that there are few bread winners earning the minimum wage. She says a good precentage of those making the minimum are responsible for families.
Marble says raising the wage to $6.50 would be something many businesses could accept, but he fears the part of the initiative that would index the wage in the future. Howard, on the other hand, says that while $6.50 is a good beginning, inflationary pressures must be taken into account. That, she says, is why the indexing is essential.
Missouri’s minimum wage is tied to the federal minimum wage, which has been $5.15 an hour since 1997.
Interview with Gary Marble
Interview with Sarah Howard