GOP lawmakers in Missouri passed a preemption law this week that bans all cities and counties from enacting their own minimum wage separate from the state level of $7.70.
This is a significant shift for St. Louis, which had been gearing up to increase its minimum wage from $10 to $11.
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is allowing the law to go into effect, but is refusing to sign it.
“I ran for governor to bring more jobs to Missouri,” said Greitens. “Our state needs more private sector paychecks and bigger private sector paychecks.”
“Politicians in St. Louis passed a bill that fails on both counts: it will kill jobs, and despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people’s pockets,” he said, referring to the city’s higher minimum wage.
The first-year governor has blamed politicians for allowing the minimum wage debate to get out of hand. “Because of their failures, we have different wages across the state. It’s created uncertainty for small businesses. And it all could have been avoided if the politicians had done their job on time.”
The minimum wage debate has dragged on for years, with the “Fight for 15” movement gaining ground in many states. The movement, which seeks to raise the minimum wage to $15, calls Greitens’ approval of the law “disgusting.”
As I wrote last month, however, cities that have raised the minimum wage have seen fewer jobs and smaller paychecks.
Author’s Note: Greitens may be one of the only smart governors out there. He wants jobs in Missouri, and this is the way to do it. We will revisit this in six month or so to see how it is doing.