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Judge Orders Kansas City's Minimum Wage Initiative Off Ballot

Cody Newill
Union members and low-wage workers rally outside the Missouri Restaurant Association's Kansas City location last July. They pushed for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, which is now officially dead due to a new state law.

A court order Tuesday has officially killed the petition initiative to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City.

Presiding Judge Justine Del Muro of the Jackson County Circuit Court ruled Tuesday that the initiative, which called for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, should be removed from the Nov. 3 ballot.

The ruling came after the Missouri General Assembly overrode a veto of House Bill 722, which forbids cities from raising the minimum wage above state levels.

Officials with the city's law department believed the election would conflict with that new law, even if voters passed the initiative. Muro's order dismantling the election keeps the city from spending $500,000 on ballot printing and preparation.

City Attorney Bill Geary is expected to submit a new ordinance to the City Council that will also dismantle the council's ordinance that would've raised the minimum wage to $13 an hour. City officials say that ordinance is being prepared now and will be advanced to the council soon.

Cody Newill is a general assignment reporter for KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @CodyNewill or you can send him an email at cody@kcur.org

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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