To say the proposed minimum wage hike in the city of Saint Louis has been controversial is an understatement. We've been on top of the issue since it was first proposed. I even got a chance to testify on the bill before the Ways & Means Committee. Needless to say, I was not the most popular guy in that room.
Still, Alderman Joe Vaccaro, the acting Ways & Means chairman, has announced he is cancelling all future meetings on the minimum wage, potentially killing the proposal. A recently passed bill from the Missouri Legislature, if signed by the governor, would prevent any local minimum wage increases from going into effect after August 28. Given that the Board of Aldermen go on summer break starting July 10, this puts the minimum wage bill in a precarious position and will make it difficult for any minimum wage increase to be enacted.
I applaud this decision, and I hope no increase is enacted. Increasing the minimum wage will destroy jobs and do little to help those in poverty. I want people across the city and state to earn more in wages. However, increasing the minimum wage is not the way to achieve such a goal. Thankfully, some in the Board of Aldermen feel similarly.