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Missouri Chamber opposes minimum wage hike

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On Feb. 27, the Senate Small Business and Industry Committee heard three Senate bills that would raise Missouri’s minimum wage rate.

SB 801 by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed raises the rate to $8.60 per hour in 2019 with 85-cent increases for the following four years to reach $12 by 2023.

SB 680 by Sen. Jacob Hummel raises the rate to $9 per hour in 2019, with a yearly dollar increase after that until the rate reaches $12 in 2022.

SB 637 by Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal raises the rate to $15.00 per hour in 2019.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposes the three bills.

Matt Panik, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs, testified in opposition at the hearing.

Missouri’s minimum wage rate is tied to the Consumer Price Index so it increases or decreases annually with the cost of living.

“Missouri has one of the lowest cost of living rates in the nation. However, our minimum wage rate is relatively higher as compared to our cost of living,” Panik said. “So I think keeping those two in balance is prudent for the state to consider.”

A spike in labor costs could force businesses to cut hours and employees.

“Limiting the increase in these bills will also be good for our state’s employers and the competition that we engage in with our neighboring states,” said Panik.

For more information, contact Panik at mpanik@mochamber.com or 573.634.3511.

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