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Friday, April 13, 2007


Gov. Matt Blunt says he opposes efforts by House Republicans to severely weaken a minimum wage law Missouri voters approved in November. Blunt made his comments during an April 11 news conference.

With 76 percent support, Missourians approved Proposition B, which increased the state’s standard minimum wage to $6.50 from $5.15 an hour. The Senate in February passed SB 255 to fix a flaw in the minimum wage law related to overtime pay for police and firefighters. When the bill came before a House committee, however, Republican lawmakers voted to repeal key voter-approved provisions that will annually adjust the minimum wage to account for inflation and that boosted the minimum wage for tipped workers to $3.35 from $2.13 an hour.

Blunt said lawmakers should pass the original Senate bill – which the group that placed Prop B on the ballot has endorsed – without making other major changes in defiance of voters. State Rep. Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton, told The Associated Press that he will use his position as House Rules Committee chairman to prevent the bill from reaching a vote unless all issues are addressed. If the statutory fix isn’t passed this year, it could end up costing local governments substantially more in overtime pay for police and firefighters.

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