Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Oregon's Minimum Wage Bill

Bourree Lam at the Atlantic:
Last week, Oregon’s house of representatives passed a bill that would make the state’s minimum wage one of the highest in the country. While the bill still needs the approval of Oregon Governor Kate Brown for the bill to pass, Brown has already said that she intends to sign the bill.

But what’s most noteworthy about the Oregon bill isn’t how high the minimum wage will be. It’s that different minimum wages will go into effect in different parts of the state, roughly based on their population density. In and around Portland, the state’s biggest city, the increase will be the largest: The minimum wage will rise there to $14.75 in 2022. Outside of Portland, the minimum hourly wage in mid-sized counties will go up to $13.50 over the next six years, and more rural areas will see theirs increase to $12.50.
This seems like a plausible approach to me. If the goal is to give all workers a living wage, then maybe that wage should be tied to what it actually costs to live in different parts of the country.

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