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KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas files ordinance calling for city partners to increase minimum wage

mayor quinton lucas and kamala harris
Posted at 2:57 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 16:04:47-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced an ordinance Thursday calling for all quasi-governmental and nonprofits that receive at least 25 percent of their funding from the city to pay a "humane wage."

In a release Thursday, Lucas said the ordinance represents the next steps for the city following a voter-approved minimum wage increase from August 2017.

“Humane wage requirements are linked to a reduction in crime rates and utilization of social services, and have potential economic benefits for our city,” Lucas said. “Today, I am proud of the City of Kansas City’s commitment to ensuring decent wages and working conditions for workers throughout our community. This is an important step to ensure all who work hard to maintain and improve our city also have resources to lift up themselves and their families.”

According to the ordinance, quasi-governmental and nonprofit should agree to pay the following wages:

  • Beginning May 1, 2021: $12.50;
  • Beginning September 1, 2021: $13.75;
  • Beginning September 1, 2022: $15.

Also on Thursday is a vote by the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council that would increase the minimum pay rate for city employees by $1.25 per hour to $13.75.

KCMO voters passed a minimum wage increase to $15 by 2022 by a massive margin in August 2017.

More than 68% of voters signed off on the initiative and St. Louis voters approved a similar increase that went into effect in May 2017 after a lengthy court battle, by the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature passed a bill a few days later that barred cities from independently raising the minimum wage.

Then-Gov. Eric Greitens allowed the measure to become law, keeping the Missouri minimum wage at that time at $7.70.

Missouri voters approved a proposition to increase the minimum wage in the state to $12 by 2023. More than 62% of voters approved the statewide measure.

The state minimum wage increased to $8.60 in 2019 with $0.85 increases built in every year until 2023.

The Missouri minimum wage increased to $9.45 in 2020 and will become $10.30 on Jan. 1, 2021, before climbing to $11.15 in 2022 as the new minimum wage is phased in.

After the state law overturned the voter-approved citywide minimum wage increase in 2017, the KCMO City Council passed a resolution urging voluntary adoption of the minimum wage increase in October 2017.

Lucas’ announcement Thursday is an attempt to make good on the promise and expand it.

Jackson County announced a similar increase for all of its employees in February.