An ordinance passed in August by Mayor Francis Slay and the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen to raise the municipality’s minimum wage from the current state mandated $7.65 per hour to $11 per hour by 2018 was struck down by a circuit judge today.
On the local news tonight, the reporter bemoaned the fact that minimum wage earners in the City of St. Louis would have to continue to struggle to put food on the table. While it is true that an additional $3.35 an hour ($146 per week) is enough money that families would feel the increase, if jobs left the City and headed to St. Louis County where no increase was mandated, those families would face worse circumstances instead of better.
The ruling came after some business groups challenged the ordinance claiming it is illegal under Missouri law. Opponents also believe the bill would reduce jobs, with many going to St. Louis County, which has not adopted a minimum wage of its own.
There is a trend of cities passing minimum wage ordinances across the country. According to the National Employment Law Project (nelp.org), 14 US cities have passed ordinances to increase their minimum wage rates in 2014 and 2015, including New York, Sacramento, Kansas City, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Lexington, KY. Today’s ruling in St. Louis may encourage business organizations in other cities to work to have these laws appealed.