Government & Politics

Kansas City Council fails to advance minimum wage measure for April ballot

The Kansas City Council declined Thursday to set the stage for an April minimum wage vote.
The Kansas City Council declined Thursday to set the stage for an April minimum wage vote. rsugg@kcstar.com

The Kansas City Council declined Thursday to move a minimum wage ballot measure forward on its agenda to try to get it on the April ballot.

Petitioners seeking the higher wage may still try to seek a court order mandating the April vote.

At issue is a petition initiative that would raise Kansas City’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021.

The Missouri Supreme Court last week ordered the council to put the higher minimum wage measure on a local election ballot, but now the question is April or August.

The official deadline for the city to submit such a measure to election authorities for April was late last week. Still, Councilman Jermaine Reed tried a procedural move Thursday that would have positioned the city to seek a court order for a late entry to the April ballot. Reed’s procedural move failed on a 6-7 vote.

Those voting in favor of trying to qualify for the April ballot were Reed, Quinton Lucas, Teresa Loar, Katheryn Shields, Lee Barnes and Alissia Canady. Those voting against were Mayor Sly James, Scott Wagner, Dan Fowler, Heather Hall, Jolie Justus, Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus.

Several of those voting against said that they felt April was too rushed, and that a campaign for a higher minimum wage would fare better in August anyway.

But petition supporters said they want it to be on the April ballot and believe that’s what the Supreme Court positioned them to do. They’re still trying to prevail in the short time remaining before local election authorities print the April ballots.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley

Several dozen fast food workers and labor supporters rallied at a Kansas City Hardee's restaurant on Jan. 12 to protest the nomination of Andy Puzder as U.S. Secretary of Labor.

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