Under legislation recently presented before the Missouri Senate Small Business and Industry Committee, the state’s minimum wage could rise by about $1 per hour in 2019 as well as for the next four years.
Missouri’s current base wage is $7.85 per hour. Senate Bill 801, sponsored by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis, would increase it to $8.60 per hour on Jan. 1, 2019. For each of the following four years, the minimum wage would rise by an additional $0.85 per hour. After 2024, the minimum wage would be tied to the cost of living.
Sen. Nasheed says this proposal is in response to the legislation passed in 2017 that prohibits municipalities from having a higher minimum wage than that of the state. The bill will no doubt face a tough road to passage, however.
Although well-intentioned, mandated labor cost increases can end up hurting the people they intend to help by forcing small business owners to cut hours, reduce staff, or close up altogether.