Missouri House Votes to Exempt Private Schools From Minimum Wage Increase

By Jaclyn Driscoll

The Missouri House on Thursday passed legislation that would exempt private and religious school workers from statewide minimum wage increases.

The measure passed by a vote of 94 to 53. The bill aims to create parity between public and private schools, said state Rep. Tim Remole, R-Excello, who sponsored the proposal.

“Many of the parents just received letters that they will receive a 10% increase over the next five years because of the minimum wage law,” Remole said on the floor during debate. “Which is making it very burdensome for people that are already paying for public school taxes on their personal property and also for their children’s education in Christian schools.”

In November 2018, Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition B, which incrementally raises the state’s minimum wage each year until it reaches $12 by 2023. That ballot initiative was written to exclude workers at public entities, including public schools, after some argued that courts would likely strike down such a mandate without providing money to the affected institutions.

The initiative was approved by 62% of voters and has increased wages for teachers aides, janitors, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and others. Salaried employees are exempt from the minimum wage increase.

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