Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is poised to let his state's minimum wage stay at $7.70 per hour, which will reduce some jurisdictions' wage standards from as high as $10 per hour.
Greitens announced his intention not to sign a bill that would create a statewide wage of $7.70 per hour. State lawmakers in St. Louis have already passed the piece of legislation.
Greitens supports the bill, but said he would not sign it and instead would let it go into effect automatically.
St. Louis has a local minimum wage of $10 per hour, which was slated to increase to $11 per hour next year.
"I ran for governor to bring more jobs to Missouri," Greitens said. "Our state needs more private sector paychecks and bigger private sector paychecks. Politicians in St. Louis passed a bill that fails on both counts: it will kill jobs, and despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people's pockets."
Greitens then blamed politicians for letting the minimum wage debate get out of hand and drag on for months.
"Politicians in the legislature could've come up with a timely solution to this problem. Instead, they dragged their feet for months. Now, because of their failures, we have different wages across the state. It's created uncertainty for small businesses. And it all could have been avoided if the politicians had done their job on time," Greitens said.
"I disapprove of the way politicians handled this. That's why I won't be signing my name to their bill."
The nationwide minimum wage debate has raged for years, and one group is pushing for a national standard of $15 per hour. Seattle has adopted that wage standard, and a recent study claimed it actually hurts jobs and wages.
Democrats in Congress introduced a bill in May that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024.
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