They whined and fear mongered, but in the end, Republicans had to sit and watch as Oregon took action to help struggling workers make a fair living.
On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill into law raising the state minimum wage to the highest in the country, but in a unique way that takes into consideration the differences between urban and rural business growth.
According to The Oregonian:
The bill gives Oregon the highest statewide minimum wage rates in the nation, to $14.75 inside Portland’s urban growth boundary, $13.50 in midsize counties and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022.
The law was agreed upon by labor unions and businesses in a compromise that should stand as proof that both sides can work together for the common good of the hardworking people who are trying to feed and cloth their families.
Governor Brown expressed pride at what Oregon Democrats have achieved for families across the state with the help of unions and businesses.
“I am extremely proud of the collaborative spirit of the stakeholder groups that worked to develop this legislation. Oregon has not only avoided a number of potentially problematic ballot measures, we have taken a very smart approach in a way that makes sense for workers and for businesses no matter where in Oregon they are.”
On Facebook, Brown wrote that the new law will “ensure hard-working Oregonians get a much-needed raise in order to keep up with rising costs of rent, food, and other necessities.”
Even President Obama praised the new wage hike in a statement via the White House, and called upon Congress to do the same for the rest of the nation.
I commend the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown for taking action to raise their state’s minimum wage. Since I first called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage in 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have acted on their own. These efforts will boost the paychecks of hardworking Americans and help support millions of workers trying to make ends meet. Today, more than half of our states guarantee their workers a wage higher than the federal minimum. That’s progress. But Congress needs to keep up with the rest of the country. They need to act, and finally give America a raise. And until they do, I’ll continue to encourage states, cities, counties and companies to act on their own to support hardworking families.
This is a great day for Oregon workers, who must be a little more excited than usual to go to work now that they know they’ll be taking home much more needed income to provide for themselves and their families.
The same cannot be said for most of Republican-controlled Alabama and other red states. Republicans there recently passed a law banning counties and cities from increasing the minimum wage within their own boundaries, making clear that they have no intention of raising the minimum wage in that state for the foreseeable future.
So while people in Oregon can have hope that the future will be financially brighter, people in Alabama are struck and that’s why it doesn’t make sense for people to vote for Republicans.
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