TOWN SQUARE: Minimum wage in your community

3 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, March 03 2016 Mar 3, 2016 Thursday, March 03, 2016 11:45:00 AM CST March 03, 2016 in News
By: Ashley Holt, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

BOONVILLE - The day KOMU 8 News went to interview Laurie Wagoner, she hadn't eaten at all by 5 p.m. She said it was because it is more important to her to pay all of her bills on time. And it happens often. 

She calls herself "working poor," because she is trying to live off making just above minimum wage. She works in the deli of a local supermarket. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 report, about 5 percent of Missourians making hourly wages at or below minimum wage. That's roughly 72,000 people. This doesn't account for the thousands of Missouri residents, like Wagoner, who make just above, but struggle to make ends meet just the same. 

"I got a mortgage I got to pay, I got electric I got to pay. You know, I've got car payments I've got to pay. And it makes it rough. Really really rough," Wagoner said. 

She works 40 hours a week, because she said her boss won't let her work any more, so she can't make overtime. She hasn't seen most of her four kids in years, and has grandchildren and a daughter-in-law she hasn't met. She said that's because she can't afford to take the time off to go see them. 

Despite her hardships, Wagoner said she has great fear voting to raise the minimum wage. 

"I've seen what happened with the employees that shouted as much as they wanted to, and got that raise. And all of a sudden you see cuts. You see store closings. You see people going without jobs. I can't afford that," Wagoner said.

Last year, different entities starting creating legislation to take a stand on the minimum wage. Secretary of State Jason Kander approved three initiative petitions related to minimum wage to appear on the 2016 ballot. And Rep.  Michael Butler, D- St. Louis, filed a bill that would raise minimum wage to $15 by 2017, and adjust to inflation every year after. 

One petition approved by Kander would raise the wage to $9 for now and increase it to $15 by 2023.

The General Manager of Columbia's Seoul Taco, Lauren Johnson said her restaurant could handle a raise to $9, but $15 would cause for some adjustments. 

"I guess we'd probably have to cut our employee base by probably like a third; which is kind of impossible for us at that moment," Johnson said. "We would have to set up a whole new budget system to make sure we're paying our employees what they deserve and what they would be getting if it was bumped up, and just make sure that we 're not going over budget with employee payouts and employee costs."

Wagoner said she understands that it would not be her company's fault if a higher minimum wage lead to her losing her job. The potential backlash is why she hesitates to vote for the measure. 

"I don't want to see my store get closed. I don't want to have to lose my job because minimum wage goes up and they can't afford to pay us," Wagoner said. “I love my job. Despite anything, I love my job. And I don’t want to lose it for nothing.”

In a survey, 45 percent of KOMU 8 viewers disagreed or strongly disagreed minimum wage should go up to $9 and about 44 percent agreed or strongly agreed. When KOMU 8 News asked viewers, in that same survey, to rank the topics they're most concerned about in order of importance, 35 percent of viewers placed minimum wage in first or second place, out of eight. Many viewers said $7.65 simply isn't a living wage. 

Wagoner said for her to vote to raise minimum wage, she would ask the gubernatorial candidates one thing. 

“I want a guarantee that my work isn’t going to fold, or downsize. You know, what’s in it for them [her company]?" Wagoner said. “I want some guarantees knowing that if I vote yes on the minimum wage, that I’m still going to have job. And full time too. Because I need insurance.”

For our Town Square segment, we also talked to people on both sides of the legalization of marijuana.

KOMU 8 Anchor Katie Link spoke with Mid-Missouri NORML President Josh Chittum and Missouri Sheriffs' Association Board Member Kevin Bond about the issue.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
BOONVILLE - Missouri Department of Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann said three officers were assaulted with an unknown liquid at Boonville... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, July 23 2019 Jul 23, 2019 Tuesday, July 23, 2019 11:49:00 AM CDT July 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Prosecutors charged Ryan Wade Blair, 27, with two counts of assault and endangering a correctional officer. Blair... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 7:36:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Local, state and federal agencies will be conducting emergency preparedness exercises at the Hearnes Center on MU's campus... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 6:59:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A federal judge sentenced a Columbia man Monday morning for his role in a drug trafficking case. ... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 5:27:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Transportation will receive $81.2 million to replace the Rocheport Bridge. The money will... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 4:36:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT, Mo. — A Chicago man faces criminal charges related to a suspicious package case in Holts Summit. ... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 4:11:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A roof collapsed early this morning from too much rain. The apartment complex had a temporary fix... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 2:59:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Users of the popular social sharing site Reddit are upset after they say a scammer targeted them--posing as... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 2:50:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - Contaminants stemming from an Orscheln facility may be in Moberly's air and sewers, and the City Council voted... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 2:12:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Close to 90,000 children and 23,000 adults have been dropped from Missouri's Medicaid health insurance program... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 2:03:00 PM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A power outage has caused Lincoln University to close for the rest of Monday. The... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 11:37:00 AM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
MACKS CREEK — A building in Camden County has collapsed after floodwaters compromised the structure. According to a Facebook... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 10:28:00 AM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
ESTES PARK, CO. — John Drage doesn’t know how many more miles he’s got left in him. Every step,... More >>
1 day ago Monday, July 22 2019 Jul 22, 2019 Monday, July 22, 2019 9:28:00 AM CDT July 22, 2019 in News
STRAFFORD — A KY3 viewer, JD Matney, shared this video of a mountain lion walking along just north of Strafford.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 21 2019 Jul 21, 2019 Sunday, July 21, 2019 8:24:00 PM CDT July 21, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police responded to a report of shots fired early Sunday morning. The incident occurred on Apple... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 21 2019 Jul 21, 2019 Sunday, July 21, 2019 6:08:00 PM CDT July 21, 2019 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Missouri Highway Patrol Troop F responded to a boat fire at the Lake of the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 21 2019 Jul 21, 2019 Sunday, July 21, 2019 5:40:00 PM CDT July 21, 2019 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - FEMA opened the doors of a new Disaster Recovery Center in Cole County over the weekend. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 21 2019 Jul 21, 2019 Sunday, July 21, 2019 1:37:00 PM CDT July 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A Columbia teenager is home safe after she was missing for almost two days. Summer Skye Allen,... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 9:05:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in Continuous News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
2pm 79°
3pm 80°
4pm 81°
5pm 80°