A group of restaurant and business advocates has started gathering petition signatures to try to overturn Kansas City’s new minimum wage law.
The group of opponents has turned in 100 signatures to get the petition drive under way and has until Aug. 25 to gather about 3,400 signatures for a referendum election.
They are challenging the City Council-approved measure to raise the minimum wage from the state-mandated $7.65 per hour to $8.50 per hour on Aug. 24, with ongoing annual increases to $13 per hour by 2020.
“We feel it is an experiment that is too risky,” said David Jackson, spokesman for Missourians for Fair Wages, a newly formed group of restaurant, hotel and other business associates that is backing the referendum petition drive.
Jackson said restaurant associations and others believe the City Council acted too hastily, and they want to slow down city action to make sure it doesn’t adversely affect the local economy.
Proponents of Kansas City’s higher minimum wage condemned the new petition drive.
“We all know the voters support raising the wage, and the mayor and City Council knew their constituents supported a strong move towards a living wage when they voted 12-1 for the ordinance earlier this month,” said the statement from Jobs with Justice, which campaigned for the higher wage.