July 10, 2015
The Honorable Sly James
29th Floor City Hall
414 E. 12th St.
Kansas City, MO 64106
Dear Mayor James:
The undersigned organizations wish to express our view that the City of Kansas City lacks the legal authority to establish any minimum wage for private sector employers.
State law clearly occupies this field and sets the minimum wage for private employers on a statewide basis. Any adjustment to that wage must be through amendment of state statute.
There has been some discussion of a phrase in HB 722 authorizing cities to adopt a minimum wage if they do so before August 28, 2015. We disagree with this interpretation of the language in the bill. While the bill enacts a new prohibition against local enactment of certain laws, minimum wage has already been set by statute and no local government, including a charter city, has any authority to enact a minimum wage for their locality.
We encourage you to honor existing state law and use your influence with the Council to avoid a costly challenge of current law. Failing that, we would welcome your veto of any minimum wage ordinance as authorized by Article V, Sec. 504 of the Charter of the City of Kansas City, MO.
American Hotel and Lodging Association
Asian American Hotel Owners Association
Associated Industries of Missouri
Mid-America Grocers Association
Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Missouri Grocers Association
Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association
Missouri Restaurant Association
Missouri Retailers Association
Missouri Tire Industry Association
International Franchise Association
National Federation of Independent Business
National Restaurant Association
Retail Grocers Association of Greater Kansas City