ST. LOUIS -- Retailers in St. Louis might feel some relief on their labor budget lines after state lawmakers reversed the city's $10 minimum wage.
Missouri legislators approved a bill barring municipalities from setting their own hourly minimums, and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced this month that he will neither sign nor veto the bill, allowing it to become law.
"It will kill jobs," Greitens said of the hike, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "And despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people's pockets.”
The city enacted the increase in May, up from the state minimum of $7.70. The nullified bill was set to rise to $11 by January 2018. When the city returns to the state minimum on Aug. 28, retailers will have to decide whether they will continue to pay the higher wage or drop down to the official minimum.
Retailers have long been critical of the higher minimum wage since city aldermen approved it in 2015. The Missouri Retailers Association, along with the Missouri Restaurant Association, filed a lawsuit against the city, citing concerns that the law would hurt workers. David Overfelt, president of the Missouri Retailers Association, said businesses would leave the city, forcing workers to travel farther to find jobs, according to the Associated Press.
The city’s policy reversal comes on the heels of a study from the University of Washington reporting that Seattle’s low-wage workers lost out on $125 a month after setting out on a path toward a $15 minimum wage.