Lawmakers debate changing Missouri's minimum wage increases

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri's new minimum wage has been in effect for just six weeks. However, some lawmakers in Jefferson City already want to make changes.

In this Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 photo, Shawna Green, waitress at Granny Shaffer's, puts out menus for customers at the restaurant in Joplin, Mo. Wages will be increasing for millions of low-income workers across the U.S. as the new year ushers in new laws in numerous states. In Missouri and Arkansas, minimum wages are rising as a result of voter-approved ballot initiatives. (Roger Nomer/The Joplin Globe via AP)

Yanique Walker is a senior at Missouri State University.

"I make $7.85 and if you do well on performances they will kind of give you an increase, but usually it's $7.85," explained Walker

She has a part-time job as a campus desk associate, on top of being a full-time student

"There's a lot of people i know who rely on jobs to pay for college," said Walker.

In November Walker and 66 percent of Missouri voters approved gradually raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023. Starting with a $0.75 increase that just kicked in.

However, some Republicans are moving to change it all.

"Legislators can change it if the governor signs it." said Drury University political science professor Dan Ponder. "If they're voting for a constitutional amendment that is more difficult to change."

Ponder says there's a loophole.

"They can actually go in and do that," said Ponder. "Under current Missouri law, on the other hand, it is a fairly aggressive move when the voters have voted particularly overwhelmingly to go in and try to change it."

Among proposed changes include for servers who make tips, and full-time high school and college students would be paid less than minimum wage.

"I guess i feel kind of deceived, because i was expecting something and didn't get that," said Walker.

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