Legislation Proposing to Limit Legislative Authority of Municipalities and Counties Vetoed


Governor Nixon has vetoed one of three bills that were introduced this term to address the issue of commercial uniformity in the State of Missouri. House Bill 722 would have prohibited counties and municipalities from requiring business owners to pay a minimum wage higher than federal or state laws require. The bill would have further prohibited political subdivisions from passing ordinances that require employers to provide greater benefits to employees than are required by federal or state laws.

While Governor Nixon said the legislation encroached on the authority of local government, the sponsor of a substantially similar Senate Bill, Sen. Mike Kehoe (R), said that such legislation would benefit business owners and the State of Missouri alike. He cited his own experience as a business owner, stating that changes to minimum wage can affect the entire business, as employers try to meet employee’s expectations relative to the lowest paid workers. Senator Kehoe said the bill would also help attract businesses to the State.

Senator Kehoe pointed out that while several Missouri municipalities have already altered minimum wage standards through ordinances, the proposed legislation would not “undo” any ordinance which is currently in place.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry went on record in support of the legislation. As a representative from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated, absent this legislation, every municipality in the State can create its own set of regulations pertaining to these issues, potentially creating a “bureaucracy nightmare” for business owners.

At least thirteen states already have such legislation in place, and a number of other states are considering enacting similar legislation.

The St. Louis employment attorneys at McMahon Berger have been representing employers across the country in labor and employment matters, including those relating to the ADA, for almost sixty years, and are available to discuss these issues and others.  As always, the foregoing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice regarding any particular situation as every situation must be evaluated on its own facts. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.