The House Trade and Job Creation Committee on Thursday passed Jerry Nolte’s bill (HB 61), without debate, along to the House floor. The bill would completely eliminate the cost of living adjustments that Missouri voters overwhelmingly (76%) approved in 2006. It would instead tie our minimum wage to the federal level, which is inadequate.
h/t to FiredUp! for this screen shot
Every year since that proposition passed, the legislature has attacked it. Last year, they tried to eliminate the minimum wage for teens. The year before that, they succeeded in clipping the minimum wage for waiters and waitresses. I’d get all “how dare they!” about it if it weren’t so commonplace now for the lege to flip voters the finger. This year alone, in addition to going after COLAs, our Corpublicans are eviscerating the puppy mill proposition and gutting the energy bill Missourians overwhelmingly approved in 2008 requiring utilities to obtain given levels of their power from alternative sources. It’s starting to feel like Russia in this state: like we’re being asked to pretend that elections matter. For all the right wing talk of strict constructionism, these arrogant SOBs need a refresher course in the meaning of democracy. It’s a simple concept really. When we the people vote overwhelmingly in favor of something, the government is supposed to heed our voice. And it’s not like we asked them to carpet our homes in mink. We simply agreed that the moral course of action is to require employers to pay people enough to survive on in return for their forty hour a week contribution to society. We barely even mandated survival wages, because the annual minimum wage for a full time worker is $15,000, while the poverty line for a family of three is $18,000.
And the arrogance of the Republican legislature sits atop its hypocrisy. These people, who are junking a state law in favor of a federal law–even though the feds want no jurisdiction in the matter–these are the same people who are purple-faced about states’ rights when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, ranting about the federal government ignoring the will of the voters.
So Nolte’s bill is out of committee in the House, and the Senate has a companion bill (SB 110). Sitting on our hands over this will leave 54,000 Missourians more desperately scrounging for pennies. At least make the Scrooges feel some heat. Call or e-mail your rep and your senator. (If they’re Democrats, you can thank them in advance for doing the right thing. Most of them don’t get anywhere near the thanks they deserve.) Click here, fill in your zip code and their info will pop up for you.