On May 5th, a new minimum wage law went into effect in St. Louis, raising the minimum wage $10.00 an hour. That increase, however, may be short-lived as Republicans in the state’s legislature just passed a new bill prohibiting cities from raising the minimum wage beyond $7.70 an hour.
Workers and their supporters had been pushing to raise the minimum wage in St. Louis for over two years, and had finally gotten a hike through. The wage was set to rise again in 2018, to $11.00 an hour.
Republicans in the state legislature claim the bill is necessary because increasing the minimum wage in different cities is just too confusing for business owners. Which is a pretty ridiculous statement if there ever was one, given that employers have managed employees with different wage rates since approximately the dawn of capitalism. Surely they can figure this out.
Working for $7.70 an hour for 40 hours a week gets you to only $308 a week before taxes — about $1232 a month. Increasing that to $10.00 an hour means $400 a week and about $1600 a month. Almost $400 a month, which is a pretty damn big deal when you are making minimum wage.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, workers in St Louis were not too happy about this: