Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Missouri Needs Senator Who Will Reverse Falling Pay for Working Families

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Missouri Needs Senator Who Will Reverse Falling Pay for Working Families

Article excerpt

Working families are struggling across Missouri with stagnant pay and falling real wages. Low pay is so pervasive that nearly half of Missourians today earn less than $15 an hour, or $31,000 a year.

Wanda Rogers is one of these struggling Missourians. She has worked for years in the fast-food sector. Even when she gets full- time hours, she is not scraping by on her $7.65 an hour paycheck. She can't cover rent, transportation and food on her own, and has to rely on food stamps, food pantries and help from her daughter, with whom she pools her earnings to raise her young grandchild. But the Republican-controlled Congress has refused to act, keeping the federal minimum wage frozen at just $7.25 since 2009. While the wage is 40 cents higher in Missouri, it's still less than $16,000 per year for a full-time worker.

Missouri voters are faced with clear and stark choices on the question of raising wages this November. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt has a long track record of fighting any increase in the minimum wage, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens joined in, saying he opposed any increase in the minimum wage as well. Both are locked in tight races against their opponents, Jason Kander and Chris Koster, who have both called for raising the minimum wage to help Missouri's working families.

But new polling released this Labor Day shows that Greitens and Blunt are on the wrong side of Missouri voters on this issue. According to the poll, Missouri voters by an overwhelming 67 percent to 26 percent margin want Congress to drop its opposition and raise the minimum wage. And by only a slightly lower 57 percent to 38 percent margin, they support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over several years.

The new poll also shows that this is a voting issue. By a 48 percent to 38 percent margin, Missouri voters say that they are less likely to support a candidate who is against raising the minimum wage. And for Missouri's U. …

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