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Arkansas and Missouri vote in favor of raising minimum wage

09 November 2018

The Missouri vote is notable partly because the minimum wage was at the center of a high-profile battle past year. Arkansas's Issue 5, which passed with 68 percent of the vote, will increase wages from $8.50 an hour to $11 an hour by 2021.

The increase in Arkansas will raise pay for an estimated 300,000 workers (about a quarter of the state's wage-earning workforce). In Missouri, 62 percent of voters elected to raise the state minimum wage from its current $7.85 to $12 an hour in 2023. Employers who fail to comply with the new law will be penalized and will be required to pay an underpaid employee not only the full amount of wages owed, but also additional amount equal to twice the unpaid wages.

In 2015, voters in Kansas City and St. Louis passed ordinances which increased the minimum wage to $10 in St. Louis and in Kansas City, with a gradual increase to $15 per hour by 2022. The bulk of those increases have come within the last four years, with 23 states pushing up their minimum wage laws since 2014.

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Supporters of a higher minimum wage, clean elections and medical marijuana are looking at the next steps to implement the ballot initiatives, while warning politicians not to try to undermine them. The minimum wage in both cities reverted back to $7.70 per hour-the Missouri state minimum wage at that time. Currently, 20 states are set to increase their minimum wage in 2019. Prop B does not affect HB 1194, and Missouri cities are still prohibited from increasing their local minimum wage above the Missouri rate.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed federal labor law posting service LaborLawCenter, labor law compliance service GovDocs, employee advocacy group National Employment Law Project, and various news outlets to determine the states that will raise the minimum wage in 2019. For example, the minimum wage of tipped employees is typically half the wage for non-tipped workers. The change listed for each state is the increase for the lowest paid group of non industry-specific workers, except tipped workers unless specified otherwise.

Arkansas and Missouri vote in favor of raising minimum wage