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Thursday, May 24, 2007


Four St. Louis-area fire protection districts on May 22 asked the governor to call a special legislative session to fix a flaw in the state’s new minimum wage law that inadvertently changed overtime rules for police and firefighters. The Senate passed SB 255 to address the issue during the regular session, but it died in the House of Representatives where Republican leaders insisted on gutting key voter-approved provisions in addition to the overtime fix.

During session Gov. Matt Blunt had urged lawmakers to pass a bill limited to the overtime fix and respect the wishes of the 76 percent of Missouri voters who voted for the minimum wage law in November. The governor’s spokeswoman told The Kansas City Star “it’s just far too early to talk about special sessions and special session requests.”

House Republicans wanted to repeal the minimum wage increase granted to tipped workers and the annual inflationary adjustments to the minimum wage included in the voter-approved law. Police and fire officials say the House’s lack of action on the fix could cost them millions of dollars in unanticipated overtime costs.

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