New plan would raise minimum wage Jan 1

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A recent proposal could increase the minimum wage as soon as Jan. 1.

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek unveiled a proposal in mid-June to lift the state’s minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2018, including an option for local governments to further increase wages, according to The Associated Press.

The proposal would give Oregon the highest statewide minimum wage in the country as soon as Jan. 1. According to Kotek’s plan, wages would jump from $9.25 currently to $11 an hour starting in 2016. The minimum wage would then increase $1 a year until 2018.

The proposal’s passage is, however, considered unlikely.

Kotek announced the measure with less than a month before the end of the legislative season. The proposal would also give some of the more affluent areas in the state, such as Portland, the ability to push wages even higher.

Republican lawmakers are opposing any efforts to increase the minimum wage, or of lifting the pre-emption, which prevents local governments from setting their own pay requirements.

“They do not have a bookkeeper full time,” Jan Meekcoms, NFIB/Oregon state director, told the Associated Press. “They do not have an HR department. The administrative nightmare of keeping track of all this, in different jurisdictions with different wages, would be horrific.”

Twenty states have already raised its minimum wage, with rates as high as $9.47 an hour. Cities have gone even further, with both Seattle and San Francisco voting to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

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