Mayor James Responds to Veto of House Bill 722


Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed House Bill 722, which put limits on the ability of cities to set a minimum wage and regulate retail shopping bags.

“With the stroke of his pen, Gov. Nixon has upheld local control,” Mayor Sly James said.

James said the Kansas City Council will proceed with review of an ordinance to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City in the wake of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.

The Kansas City Council since March has been considering an ordinance filed by Third District Councilman Jermaine Reed to raise the minimum wage above the $7.65 per hour required by state law.

“The City Council and I fully intend to follow through on our promise to consider an ordinance to raise the minimum wage by July 16,” he said.

An ordinance introduced in March to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City above the $7.65 per hour mandated by Missouri law initially was referred to the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee and later re-referred to a committee of the whole council in April.

The Committee of the Whole met twice in May to take public testimony. Mayor James then convened a stakeholder group that met six times from June 1 to July 6. The stakeholder group included both proponents of raising the minimum wage and others concerned about the impact of raising the minimum wage on local businesses.

On July 9, Mayor James introduced a committee substitute to the ordinance. The committee also heard presentations by Scott Helm of Village Square, the organization that moderated the stakeholder meetings; Rev. Dr. Vernon Howard Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City; Bud Nicol, executive director, Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Kansas City; William G. Greiner, chief investment strategist with Mariner Wealth Advisors; and Steve Lebofsky of the City Planning and Development Department. The Committee of the Whole discussed and then unanimously approved a motion to move the committee substitute to third reading without recommendation.

“We continue to collect information and study relevant facts and data, and we remain in touch with members of the stakeholder group,” James said. “Members of the public have not been shy about sharing their opinions with us via letter, email, and social media.”

“Clearly, this is an important public policy issue that affects a broad variety of Kansas Citians and businesses. We intend to see this process through. I cannot speculate on what will happen in the future, but the City Council and I will do our duty to serve the interest of Kansas Citians on an appropriate minimum wage.”

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Note to editors and reporters: The Kansas City minimum wage ordinance is No. 150217, details of which can be found here: For a copy of the committee substitute or its summary, contact Michael Grimaldi at  816-513-6579 or . Persons wishing to comment on the city’s proposed minimum wage ordinance are welcome to write Mayor Sly James, City Hall, 29th Floor, 414 E. 12th St., Kansas City, MO 64106; or send an email to .


Contact: Michael Grimaldi: 816-513-6579 or cell: 816-945-2902