Wages, Liquor, Taxes And Marijuana

Voters passed a number of referendums earlier this month that will affect their states’ foodservice industries.

  • Residents of Missouri and Arkansas voted Nov. 6 to raise their state’s minimum wage to $12 and $11, respectively. Both states will phase in the increases over a period of years: Arkansas’ pay floor will rise to $11 by 2021, and in Missouri, where the legal minimum is currently $7.85 an hour, the hourly base will rise to $12 in 2023.
  • Michigan became the tenth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The proposal would decriminalize the sale and use of cannabis as early as December.
  • Arizona approved a measure that prohibits state officials and local governments from levying new taxes and increases on services; it isn’t clear yet what effect this will have on restaurants.
  • In Illinois, Chicago voters approved a ballot proposal that encourages the city’s lawmakers to ban the use of straws.
  • And in Minneapolis, voters did away with an 80-year statute restricting where in the city restaurants can serve liquor. Currently, only restaurants within a 7-acre zone surrounding downtown can serve liquor. The rest are limited to wine and beer unless they go through the process of lobbying the Legislature for an exemption.

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