The City Council in Kansas City, Missouri, repealed legislation Thursday that would have increased the minimum wage within city limits, the Kansas City Star reported. However, the council did pass a resolution that pressed the Missouri General Assembly to increase the statewide minimum wage of $7.65 an hour as soon as possible.
The council approved an ordinance in July that would have boosted the minimum wage in the city to $13 an hour by 2020. State lawmakers intervened before the ordinance could take effect, and lawmakers overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that prevented cities from passing their own minimum wage laws. The council told members of groups that had petitioned for the wage hike that they had no choice but to repeal the local wage rate. Four members of the council, however, voted against repealing the ordinance, according to radio station KMBZ.
“Although we agree with the council and mayor’s call for wages to be increased statewide we don’t believe it absolves them of their responsibility to their local communities’ needs," said Bob Minor of Kansas City Jobs With Justice, KMBZ reported.
Arguing that the state’s current minimum wage is not enough to lift workers out of poverty, the council voted 11-0 for a resolution requesting the general assembly to pass a higher wage next year.
In the past few years, cities have been making strides toward raising the minimum wage. Cities that have either enacted minimum wage hikes or are in the process of doing so include New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. In St. Louis, there is a currently a court challenge that asserts that state law does not prevent cities from raising the minimum wage in municipalities. Should that view prevail on appeal, Councilman Jermaine Reed said Kansas City should consider raising its minimum wage again, the Kansas City Star reported.