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Minimum Wage Battle Brewing In Salem


Oregon lawmakers are set to consider a measure that would raise the wage to $15 per hour.

Oregon has the second highest state minimum wage in the country at $9.25 an hour. Only Washington state's is higher. But advocates say that isn't enough.

More than a dozen lawmakers-all Democrats-have signed onto a proposal to hike the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018.

"$9.25 just isn't enough. And neither is $12 or $13. But $15 per hour is the number that gets working families in Oregon out of poverty and off public assistance,” said Justin Norton-Kertson from the group 15 Now Oregon.

The bill has failed to gain broad support among legislative leadership. Republicans have also come out against the plan.

A separate measure in the Oregon legislature would allow cities and counties to set their own minimum wage, as long as it's higher than the state's. Neither bill has been scheduled for a hearing yet in Salem.

A minimum wage hike is also being considered by lawmakers in Olympia this year. The Washington proposal would raise the wage to $12 per hour by 2019.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.