Two State Groups Give up Fight to Make November Ballot

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JEFFERSON CITY - Two groups pushing for their initiatives annouced Monday they are giving up the fight to make it on the November ballot.

Missourians For Responsible Lending and Give Missourians A Raise were trying for stricter regulations on payday loans and a higher minumum wage.  The groups wanted to cap the interest rate for payday loans and 36 percent and raise minimum wage a dollar to $8.25.

Sean Soendker Nicholson, a spokesperson for the two groups, says they received 350,000 signatures on the petition.  Legal claims from opposition groups, however, stalled the initiatives, hindering the groups from making the September 21 deadline.  

Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity and Save Our State Jobs were two of the main groups opposed to the intiatives.  Attorney Eddie Greim for Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity said the group opposed a higher minimum wage because when fixing the minimum wage, it increases the cost by hundreds of millions of dollars for employers.  Greim said this then forces employers to forgo hiring or lay off employees.

Several Columbia residents shared their reactions to the higher minimum wage not making it on the ballot.  Mr. Goodcents manager Nicole Long said there are good and bad parts to a higher minumum wage including better morale with employees, but higher costs to train and hire.

Mallorie Kremar, a Mr. Goodcents employee of about a year, said she is surprised it did not make the November ballot.  "It's hard to make a living, I just had a baby and you have to work really hard to make enough."

Soendker Nicholson said he believes 350,000 signatures was more than enough to push the initiatives through, and even though they are not on this ballot, he said they will still remain in the state legislature.