As small business owners and labor activists from across the state made their way to the Capitol to testify at an evening public hearing on Oregon’s minimum wage, Governor Kate Brown finally released the details of her plan for raising the state minimum wage.
Dear NFIB/Oregon members,
Big news came out of Salem last Thursday, January 14th. As small business owners and labor activists from across the state made their way to the Capitol to testify at an evening public hearing on Oregon’s minimum wage, Governor Kate Brown finally released the details of her plan for raising the state minimum wage.
The plan creates a two-tiered system for raising Oregon’s minimum wage incrementally over the next six years. Starting January 1, 2017, the statewide minimum wage would increase to $10.25 per hour and increase every year until it hits $13.50 in 2022. After that, annual increases would be based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is how Oregon calculates increases today under current law.
The second tier would apply to the Portland metro area only, specifically, the metro area’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). In this region of the state, the minimum wage rate would be set at 15 percent above the statewide minimum wage, which would result in an increase to $11.78 in 2017 and reaching $15.52 by 2022. Increases inside the UGB will also be tied to the CPI each year thereafter.
NFIB/Oregon recently balloted our members on minimum wage and the results speak for themselves: 94 percent oppose any increases in Oregon’s statewide minimum wage and 89 percent oppose allowing cities or counties (or regions) from adopting their own local wages beyond the state standard.
Clearly, small business owners recognize (better than most) that increasing the minimum wage does little to address the core factors that contribute to poverty. In fact, government mandates for considerably higher wages exacerbate the problem. While an increase in wages may benefit some, many of those who need a job the most will see reduced hours or layoffs, and certainly all Oregonians will be stuck with higher prices for food, childcare and other essentials that low-income and fixed-income Oregonians especially cannot afford.
Please make sure that your voice is heard this year. Contact your legislators and urge them to oppose any new minimum wage mandates.
Anthony K. Smith
NFIB/Oregon State Director