JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Supporters of a higher wage are urging Missouri lawmakers to let voters decide whether to increase the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour.
Missouri's minimum wage currently is $7.50 an hour - 25 cents higher than the federal minimum wage.
Several low-income workers testified Tuesday before a Missouri Senate committee in support of a proposed ballot measure increasing the minimum wage. The workers said they often must skip meals because they don't earn enough to pay all the bills for food, housing, utilities and transportation.
A Webster University economist said a minimum wage increase would help the economy, because workers likely would spend the additional money.
Lobbyists for several business groups testified against the measure, citing concerns that it could squeeze low-skill workers out of jobs.
The minimum wage bill is SB531.