Maximum Exposure for Minimum Wage Debate
The fund reported that lawmakers have had 11 pay increases in the past 15 years, amounting to an average increase of $3,500 a year, despite no increase in the state's minimum wage.
Independence Rep. Paul LeVota added, "It increases purchasing power and helps families be more self-efficient. It's about time we give Missourians a raise because the elected officials have had plenty of raises."
But critics said increasing the minimum wage will take money from skilled employees to raise the pay of entry-level workers.
"There's just a finite amount of money, and that's the biggest problem with these types of initiatives, there's no influx of cash," said Gary Marble of Associated Industries of Missouri. "Thus, a business has to find it from someplace else, and where it's going to come from are other skilled and tenured employees."
Marble, who's a former state representative, said comparing legislative pay with the minimum wage isn't the issue.
"Wrong question," he said. "Bigger question is what's going to happen, when this does pass, to the person watching this [newscast] right now?"
Voters will decide Proposition B on Nov. 7.