The Missouri minimum wage is going up in 2018—from $7.70 to $7.85 per hour—but there is also a wider push to implement a much higher statewide minimum wage.
Per state law, the Missouri Department of Labor must calculate the minimum wage rate once per year, based on the cost of living according to the Consumer Price Index. But if minimum wage advocates are successful, the wage will be adjusted much higher.
First, State Rep. Brandon Ellington plans to pre-file legislation this month to increase the state’s base wage to $15 per hour. However, the bill will face a tough road to passage. He filed the same proposal in January 2017, but it was referred to a House committee on the final day of session and never received a hearing.
Meanwhile, Raise Up Missouri is also working to get an initiative on the ballot that would give voters a say about raising the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2023. The group has until May to collect enough signatures (more than 100,000) to get the initiative on the ballot in November 2018.
Both of these efforts come in the wake of a new state law that bans localities from implementing minimum wage rates different than that of the state, which invalidated wage hikes in both St. Louis and Kansas City.