One of the vetoes the state legislature voted to override Wednesday makes law a bill that tells cities they can’t set a greater minimum wage than the state or tell their stores they have to stop using plastic grocery bags.
The state Senate voted 23-9 to complete the overturn of Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto, started earlier in the date by the state House with a 114-46 vote.
Democrats and groups such as the Missouri Municipal League said the bill is an attack on local control. Republicans said the minimum wage should be set by the state, and not be set at varying levels throughout it.
Republicans like Representative Kevin Engler (R-Farmington) argue higher minimum wages don’t help workers.
“I hear this rhetoric on TV, ‘Oh, it’s going to make everybody more money.’ It is not! It’s going to raise the cost of all goods, it’s going to cause marginally profitable businesses to go out of business,” Engler said during debate in the House.
Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) thinks that’s a false argument.
“Show me in any other state where they have increased the wages and the businesses fled. I mean where? Where is that?” asked Nasheed.
Representative Jon Carpenter (D-Kansas City) asked his fellow House members to remember the bill would not just tell city officials they could not set a greater minimum wage, but citizens as well.
“We are telling the voters of Kansas City that even if they, themselves, go to the ballot box and vote overwhelmingly for a raise in the minimum wage, which by the way they would, that they don’t have a right to do that,” said Carpenter.
Engler said Carpenter’s argument is not valid.
“To the point the people of Kansas City and St. Louis voted for this – they would vote for free lunches, they would vote for higher taxes on all those people that were working … if you left them to their own design they will vote for whatever benefits them the most,” said Engler.
Analysts disagree on whether minimum wage increases passed this summer in St. Louis and Kansas City will be effected by the law.