Raft of new Missouri laws take effect, including workplace discrimination and minimum wage curb

Aug 28, 2017
Originally published on August 29, 2017 1:13 am

St. Louis’ $10-an-hour minimum wage is a thing of the past. So is a Missouri resident’s ability to sue when he or she thinks age or race was part of the reason for being fired.

That’s because several new laws have taken effect as of Monday.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens checked off several items on his wish list in his first year in office, including an alert system when a police officer is assaulted and compliance with a Bush-era ID law.

But his top priority, a right-to-work law that ban unions and employers from requiring all workers in a bargaining unit to pay dues, is on hold after unions and their allies gathered about 310,000 signatures to force a statewide vote on the issue in November 2018. The Secretary of State’s office is verifying the signatures, but a spokeswoman said there likely is enough valid ones to require a vote.

 

For the major laws that are taking effect, here’s a quick rundown and links to explore the topics more:

Workplace discrimination

  • What the law does: Fired employees have to prove discrimination for their race, sex, age or national original was the main reason they were fired instead of one of a few reasons.

 

  • Supporters say: It will cut down on frivolous lawsuits that hurt small business owners.

 

  • Opponents say: The law will disproportionately affect minorities, women, disabled, older people and immigrants.

Minimum wage

  • What the law does: Bans local governments from enacting a minimum wage that’s higher than the state minimum, which is $7.70 an hour. It’ll knock out St. Louis’ $10-an-hour wage, which went up earlier this year, and not allow Kansas City to raise theirs to $10-an-hour as voters approved in August.

 

  • Supporters say: Allowing local higher minimums will harm local businesses.

 

  • Opponents say: Cities and counties should have the right to set their own minimum wages.

Real ID

  • What the law does: Requires the state Department of Revenue to issue driver’s licenses that comply with requirements in the federal 2005 federal Real ID law.

 

  • Supporters say: Compliance is mandatory, and Missouri residents will be able to fly and visit military bases and federal buildings without having to buy a passport.

 

  • Opponents say: It’s an effort by the federal government to intrude into the private lives of Americans and Missouri citizens.

Liquor at airports

  • What the law does: Allows passengers at St. Louis Lambert International Airport and Kansas City International to carry alcoholic beverages from terminal restaurants and bars to other parts of the airport.

 

  • Supporters say: It’s convenient for passengers who don’t want to sit at the bar while they wait to board.

 

  • Opponents say: It could lead to more drinking and more intoxicated passengers on planes.

Ride hailing

  • What the law does: Establishes regulations to allow companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate statewide.

 

  • Supporters say: Uniform regulations will provide more job opportunities.

 

  • Opponents say: It’s unfair competition for existing taxi companies.

Blue Alert

  • What the law does: Creates a statewide notification system, similar to an Amber Alert, when a law enforcement officer is shot or otherwise assaulted.

 

  • Supporters say: Authorities can more quickly respond to such incidents.

 

  • Opponents say: It could lead to acts of vigilantism by citizens who may target an innocent person.

Zoo tax

  • What the law does: Allows the Zoo-Museum District to ask voters in St. Louis and St. Louis County to pass a 1/8 of 1 percent sales tax to fund improvements to the St. Louis Zoo.

 

  • Supporters say: The century-old facility is in dire need of repairs and the extra money will make sure admission will remain free.

 

  • Opponents say: County and city residents already pay enough taxes to fund zoo operations.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport

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