Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Aldermen Headed for Heated Showdown on Friday over Spy Agency, Minimum Wage

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Aldermen Headed for Heated Showdown on Friday over Spy Agency, Minimum Wage

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * The city's aldermen will have a final showdown Friday before they leave City Hall for a two-month summer break.

The 28-person board is expected to address two issues: instituting a minimum wage and approving a financing package to keep the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in the city.

The question of whether they will return during the break is unclear.

The proposal to institute a $15-an-hour minimum wage has languished ever since Alderman Joe Vaccaro, the acting chairman of the city's Ways and Means committee, abruptly canceled all future hearings on the bill.

Under procedural rules, the cancellation means that aldermen can't pass the bill unless a special session is called before they return from break in September. They must act before Aug. 28, when a new state law could kick in forbidding the city from taking such an action. Gov. Jay Nixon could veto that bill, which would give the city more time.

Before a special meeting can be scheduled, it must be approved by two of the body's three leaders (President Lewis Reed, Majority Floor Leader Freeman Bosley Sr. and Vice President Joseph Roddy). So far, they haven't indicated they will take action.

Reed is expected to hold meetings on the minimum wage bill with community leaders before taking any action, but he hasn't indicated that he will push for a special meeting.

The goal, he said in a written statement, is to reach "consensus on a plan that provides some relief to working families without at the same time negatively impacting small and low-profit margin businesses, or the city's economy on a whole. …

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