The Latest: Mayors back ballot measure to raise minimum wage
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on Missouri's minimum wage (all times local):
Now that Missouri's minimum wage is back to $7.70 statewide, the Democratic mayors from both of the state's big cities are supporting a ballot measure to increase the wage to $12 an hour gradually by 2023.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson was among several dozen supporters of a higher minimum wage who gathered Monday for a rally and protest. Krewson says she'll be asking for signatures on a petition toward a November 2018 ballot measure. The effort called "Raise Up Missouri" requires 100,000 signatures by May.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James says in a statement that he also supports the ballot initiative. Other supporters include Columbia Mayor Brian Treece and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.
A Missouri law that went into effect Monday prohibits local government from approving minimum wages higher than the state's. The measure overturns a $10 wage in St. Louis that went into effect in May, and nullifies voter approval of a $10 wage in Kansas City.
On the day that thousands of St. Louis workers get pay cuts due to a new state law, Mayor Lyda Krewson, faith leaders and others will gather in support of a higher wage.
A $10 minimum wage in St. Louis went into effect in May after a two-year court battle. Days later, the Republican-led Missouri Legislature passed a bill that requires a $7.70 per hour minimum wage statewide.
Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed the measure, which is among several laws that became effective Monday.
Kansas City voters this month approved a higher wage, though that vote is essentially nullified by the new state law.
Supporters of the higher wage in St. Louis plan an afternoon protest, during which the Democratic mayor is expected to announce a plan moving forward.