Minimum Wage Proposal Raises Mixed Feelings

Minimum Wage Proposal Raises Mixed Feelings
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Mike Wiggins has owned Granny Shaffers on Rangeline for 25 years and he’s seen a few minimum wage increases in his time there, but he’s also seen a few cut backs he’s had to make because of that.

“We used to have a Christmas party for our employees. We gave away $5,000. We had like a silent auction, depending on how long you worked here. We gave away gifts and it was about a $5,000 – 6,000 dollar event. We had to cancel that. We used to pay health insurance for all our employees, half if they wanted it. We had to do away with that,” explained Wiggins.

Wiggins says that businesses like his have to compensate for mandated wage increases.

“The first thing you’ll see is our prices to go up on our menus,” said Wiggins.

But he also says that he’s prepared for the increase, if Proposition B were to pass, because he already pays his staff more than minimum wage.

“I would rather have the market drive wages than the government drive the wages and right now the market is driving the wages. We’re already paying more than minimum wage because we have to to keep the employees that we have,” stated Wiggins.

But college students like freshman Leslie Barrios really wants to see the initiative go through.

“”I feel like it would be more beneficial to people who are working and have jobs too and come to school,” stated Barrios.

Wiggins says that he knows it takes good money to have good employees, but he knows that an increase would be hard on small businesses.

“There’s no place for the money to come from. It just doesn’t come out of some pie in the sky, so you have to get it somewhere,” said Wiggins.

Proposition B would gradually raise minimum wage in 85 cent increments on a yearly basis till $12 was reached in 2023.

Missouri Proposition B would penalize employers who paid workers below minimum wage.Those businesses would be required to not only pay the going minimum wage, but an additional amount equal to twice the unpaid wages. The proposition would exempt government employers from these requirements.

Other issues on the November ballot include medical marijuana, a gas tax hike, and a proposal to change redistricting and limit lobbyist gifts to state lawmakers.