St. Louis aldermen headed for heated showdown on Friday over spy agency, minimum wage

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch

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 hot issues: instituting a minimum wage and approving a financing package to keep the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in the city. The meeting could be a long one on a day when temperatures are expected to soar above 90 degrees. (The aldermanic chamber doesn’t have air conditioning.)

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, but he hasn’t indicated what he will do.

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.