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Missouri minimum wage set to increase in 2020

Posted at 2:26 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 19:36:31-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the clock strikes midnight, not only will it ring in a new year, but minimum wage workers will receive a pay bump.

Missouri minimum wage currently is $8.60 and will increase to $9.45 tomorrow. It will increase again in 2023, making minimum wage $12 per hour.

This was enacted through a voter-approved initiative in 2018.

It's a decision that minimum-wage workers like Demonn Sanders needed.

"It's a struggle,” Sanders said. “It really is a struggle."

Sanders said the paycheck he received doesn't cover all the bills.

"It's really hard dealing with housing, child care, sometimes dental and medical,” Sanders said. “[There are] a lot of things that it doesn't help me with a minimum wage being as low as it is.”

The Greater Area Kansas City Restaurant Association pushed back on the increase, saying the higher costs will negatively affect the bottom line of several restaurants.

"Some businesses can absorb the costs, some businesses have to look at other ways to cut costs and some businesses look at increasing their prices," said Bill Teel, executive director of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association.

And when it comes to the so-called “border battle,” it can be more than just tax incentives.

"Labor costs in Missouri versus Kansas and some restaurateurs have talked about, you know, I may look at Kansas to expand rather than Missouri because it's more favorable from a labor standpoint," Teel said.

In Kansas, minimum wage still is $7.25 an hour.