Jackson County judge rules that a proposal to raise minimum wage in KC cannot go on November ballot

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Jackson County judge just ruled that a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City cannot go on the November ballot.

Last week  state lawmakers agreed that cities cannot raise their minimum wage above the state’s rate of $7.65 an hour.

Even though petitioners had enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot for a public vote, the judge ruled that doing so would be a waste of time and money.

Fast food workers across the nation have been organizing in recent years, marching in unity, trying to get cities to raise the minimum wage to $15-dollars an hour. Their efforts worked in Kansas City – albeit briefly.

Back in July, the City Council agreed to raise the minimum wage to $13-dollars an hour by the year 2020.

Business leaders who were against it, though, gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the November 3rd ballot.

Supporters also had a valid petition, so it looked like the decision would come down to the voters.

Then last week, the State Legislature met and voted to deny cities the ability to raise the local minimum wage – so this issue is now null and void. The judge’s decision to strike the question from the ballot came just hours before the deadline to do so.

Minimum wage will stay the same for now.

Local leaders suggest that those who want to raise it should put together a statewide petition to put the issue on the state ballot because unless lawmakers change the law, this will be the only way supporters will be able to raise the minimum wage.