In the waning hours of Missouri’s 2017 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly passed HB 1194, which prohibits Missouri cities from establishing minimum wage rates higher than the state’s minimum wage—which is currently $7.70 per hour. The new law also “preempts and nullifies” any local laws currently in effect—voiding St. Louis’s minimum wage ordinance that took effect just last week. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Greitens, who is expected to sign it into law.
While the passage of the bill signals that relief may be in sight for city employers, that relief may still be a few months away. Early versions of the bill included an emergency clause, which would have allowed the new law to become effective immediately upon Governor Greitens’s signature. While the clause was passed by the Senate, it failed to garner the required two-thirds majority in the Missouri House of Representatives. As a result, assuming the governor signs the bill into law, St. Louis employers will have to wait until August 28, 2017, for the law to take effect. In the meantime, covered employers must continue to comply with the city’s minimum wage ordinance.
Currently, it is unclear whether St. Louis—or any other city in Missouri—will challenge the new law in court.