The Oregon State Senate approved a measure which would increase the state minimum wage to as much as $14.75 per hour over the next six years, making us thankful that Republicans in Washington State control the Senate and reminding us all of the dangers of one-party control of state government. The devastating vote for Oregon small businesses came after a mere six hours of debate. Via KUOW,
“The measure sets up three different minimum wages: One for the Portland metro area, a lower one for mid-size communities, and the lowest for rural parts of the state. Democratic Senator Diane Rosenbaum called it the most important bill that lawmakers would vote on this session…
“Republicans tried in vain to delay a vote. Senator Jeff Kruse voiced the objection of many GOP lawmakers. ‘I guess we don’t care whether businesses survive in this state,’ Kruse said. ‘Because this is a business-killing measure.’”
The bill will now move to the Democrat-controlled state House where, in all likelihood, it will be approved.
Currently, two groups are collecting signatures for initiatives that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in three years. Whether or not passage of the bill will make a difference for these efforts is unclear.