Arkansas votes to increase minimum wage to $11 per hour

Galtero Lara
Noviembre 9, 2018

Residents of Arkansas and Missouri each voted to lift their minimum wage levels, a progressive triumph in states that are typically regarded as conservative.

The initiative comes on the heels of Missouri voters rejecting Missouri's "right-to-work" proposition in the 2018 August primary.

Voters in Missouri approved a minimum wage hike of their own on Tuesday, passing a ballot measure raising it to $12 by 2023.

In Missouri, the minimum wage will now annually increase from $7.85 per hour to $12 per hour by 2023. The proposition also increases the penalty for employers caught paying less than the minimum wage. The bulk of those increases have come within the last four years, with 23 states pushing up their minimum wage laws since 2014.

In 2015, voters in Kansas City and St. Louis passed ordinances which increased the minimum wage to $10 in St. Louis and in Kansas City, with a gradual increase to $15 per hour by 2022.

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Supporters of a higher minimum wage, clean elections and medical marijuana are looking at the next steps to implement the ballot initiatives, while warning politicians not to try to undermine them. Prop B does not affect HB 1194, and Missouri cities are still prohibited from increasing their local minimum wage above the Missouri rate.

After Tuesdays elections, it just may get a little easier, with the minimum wage going up to $8.65 an hour at the first of the year.

According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, proponents of Prop B (including Raise Up Missouri, Sixteen Thirty Fund, and the Black Progressive Action Coalition) spent almost $6 million on the measure.

In a press release, Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a nonpartisan organization that advocated for both ballot measures, said the minimum wage boost would boost local economies. Currently, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have higher minimum wages than the federal rate, according to EPI. Meanwhile, minimum wage employees in Massachusetts, Maine, and at large companies in California will be noticing the largest hike, with an increase of $1.00 an hour.

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