Senate Bill 10, which would freeze the minimum wage for tipped workers at $4.30 an hour and set the wage for workers under 18 years old at 85 percent of the minimum, isn’t the only bill filed this session trying to undermine voters’ approval of the Proposition B minimum wage increase.
Republicans in the Missouri Legislature are doing everything within their power to chip away at the public’s will.
Over unanimous Democratic opposition, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives recently voted to advance House Bill 763 (HB 763), which would exempt private schools from paying the new minimum wage, including the $8.60-an-hour wage already in effect, and allow the schools to cut the salaries of workers back to the old $7.85-an-hour minimum wage.
Rep. Peter Merideth (D-St. Louis), in a Facebook post, called HB 763 House Republicans’ “first effort to chip away at the new minimum wage.”
“The ballot initiative exempted public employees from the minimum wage,” Merideth wrote. “Because the (Missouri) constitution prohibits a ballot measure from directing appropriations. Republicans are arguing this meant the voters didn’t think schools should have to pay the minimum wage. This bill would now exempt private schools from the law in order to create ‘parity’ with the public schools they ‘compete’ against.”
Rep. Gina Mitten (D-University City) questioned that argument on the House floor, noting private schools aren’t subject to virtually any of the training, certification standards, transparency, accountability provisions or many of the other myriad regulations that apply to public schools, but no bill has been introduced to create parity on those issues.