Missouri senators debate lower minimum wage for teens

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | 8:05 a.m. CST; updated 1:02 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 17, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers are considering lowering the state's minimum wage — but only for teenagers.

A Senate small-business committee debated legislation that would allow employers to pay 75 percent of the state minimum wage to workers younger than 20. The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, the lower wage would be about $5.43 an hour. Republican Sen. Tom Dempsey of St. Charles said his bill would spur the hiring of younger workers to help them get experience.

Under the bill, the lower minimum wage would expire in 2013. Employers could not fire more experienced workers to hire younger people who could be paid less.

Business groups applaud the idea, but unions say it would be unfair to pay people less solely because of their age.

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Liz Davis February 17, 2010 | 10:52 a.m.

This is a horrible idea. Not all teenagers are minors, 18 and 19 year olds are adults, some with families. It's hard enough making ends meet on minimum wage when employers are so cheap they only hire parttime so they don't have to pay benefits. Now you want to give them a $2/hr cut in pay?! Don't you realize this is why people quit trying? Welfare pays more.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 17, 2010 | 11:33 a.m.

Every 18+ year old in Missouri should immediately register to vote and organize a march and a mission to express their outrage to this obvious attempt of age discrimination.
I would suggest that these 18+ year olds find their local Tea Party representatives, via the internet, and discover the resources of protest which are available to them.
Who knows what kind of empowerment such a movement would accomplish.

(Report Comment)
ken hartel February 17, 2010 | 12:30 p.m.

this is a flat out discrimination based on age. we elect people to make our life better.. not to make more profit for corp. lets make the pay cut in the senate until they learn how to do the job......

(Report Comment)
Paul Love February 18, 2010 | 8:21 a.m.

This would be a serious blow to the early career of people who end their education at high school as they enter the workforce earlier.

(Report Comment)
jeremy acton February 24, 2010 | 7:20 p.m.

I do not even know how to begin to express how angry this makes me. Pay people less due to their age!?! "Hey guys!!! I have an idea, let's not stop here....lets pay people with disabilities less also...OOH OOH then we can pay women less.....OOH OOH then we can pay minorities less". This is beyond unacceptable and it had better damned well upset everyone!!! Follow the link below and let Missouri Governor Jay Nixon know that this is unacceptable.

Below are other Missouri elected officials. Let them know!!!

• Kurt Schaefer (R-19)

House of Representatives*
• Stephen Webber (D-23)
• Chris Kelly (D-24)
• Mary Still (D-25)

(Report Comment)
jeremy acton February 24, 2010 | 7:38 p.m.

Here is the email for Tom Dempsey. This is his bill. Let him know how you feel about it!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 24, 2010 | 7:58 p.m.

Why would a Republican Senator think that this is a good idea?

(Report Comment)
Elizabeth Wheeler March 19, 2010 | 11:56 a.m.

I would like to say that this bill is entirely not fair and could be border line if not already crossing the unconstitutional line.The government as more of a right to ticket red lght violators then to do lower the minimum wage for us teenagers. Yes you could say well lets have the people vote on it. Well most f the people who the bill concerns can’t vote, what about the 15 year olds, the 16 year olds, and the 17 year olds…like me.

My name is Elizabeth Wheeler, 17, and lives in Webster County. I graduated high school early so I could save up a little nest egg for my college career. Also during this time out of high school and before, both of my parents were laid off…so guess who paid for things that unemployment couldn’t….I did and my 7.25 dollar an hour from Dairy Queen. Could have I done so much with a 5.43 dollar an hour from Dairy Queen? NO!

I may not be a registered voter but I am an adult! I work hard for my money, I have a car, and I pay for my own gas, my insurance…I pay for my cell phone, my clothing, necessary hygiene products, I have a savings, and hopefully I will be starting school….but how can I if I am only making 5.73 an hour? I have no one helping me; I am all on my own! Most people after high school move out and start living on their own.

Why cut only the teenagers minimum wages? We are adult, if we were to commit a crime and since we are over the age of 15 we were get charged as adults. So why not pay us as adult? 18 and 19 years olds can vote, why not pay them like everyone else? Every teenager who has a job pay taxes just like everyone else…why not pay us like everyone else!!!

Please do not lower minimum wage for teenagers!! We are the future and how can we get into the right start if you lower our wages.

(Report Comment)

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