Tuesday, the Missouri legislature voted to cap the state's minimum wage at the federal rate.
The legislation would essentially overturn a 2006 voter-approved law that lets Missouri's minimum wage rise above the federal level based on annual inflation.
Proponents say it could be difficult for Missouri businesses to compete if the Show-Me State's minimum wage is higher than those of neighboring states.
"Of the states that surround us, only Illinois has a higer minimum wage at $8.25 an hour," said state Representative Jerry Nolte, a Republican from Gladstone. "In that environment we cannot afford to not be competitive."
Critics defend Missouri's existing law and say lawmakers should not overrule a measure approved three-to-one by the voters.
"Here we are with a piece of legislation that says either they didn't know what they were voting on or they were wrong in that vote," said Kansas City Democrat Jason Holsman.
The measure needs another House vote before moving to the Senate.