Small business gets minimum wage relief news

nfib-logoBy Anthony Smith,
Oregon NFIB

Small businesses get a reprieve, at least in the interim.

It’s not often that small business owners are met with good news regarding Oregon’s minimum wage, but the state will not see an increase in rates for the first time in five years.

Minimum wage will remain at $9.25 for 2016, state officials recently announced. State law has the wage tied to the Consumer Price Index, which barely showed any inflation. Last year’s wage jumped 15 cents.

Even without an increase, though, Oregon’s minimum wage remains the second highest in the country and $2 above the federal minimum. And the announcement might not be good news for long, either: A lack of an increase could create renewed efforts to significantly raise the wage to as high as $15.00 an hour, The Oregonian reports.

Two separate labor groups, Raise the Wage and 15 Now Oregon, are trying to boost the rate through ballot measures for the 2016 election. Meanwhile, House Speaker Tina Kotek has already voiced her hopes to raise the wage to $13 an hour.

In 2015 alone, small businesses dodged 11 legislative efforts to increase the wage beyond $9.25 in the legislature’s not-so-small-business-friendly session. Those measures all failed, though, and Oregon’s wage is still tied to a 2002 state law.

The Oregon state legislature picks back up next February and minimum wage is surely to play a feature role. Continue to follow for the latest in efforts to curtail increases.

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