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An Important Step Forward for Working Families and Oregon Businesses

News Release
February 18, 2016 Download PDF

Statement by Chuck Sheketoff, executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, on Oregon legislature approving minimum wage increase

The Center thanks and congratulates the Oregon House of Representatives for taking an important step forward to ensure more working Oregonians share in the benefits of the state’s growing economy. This is an historic moment. It has been 27 years since the legislature last took it upon themselves to give Oregon’s lowest-paid workers a boost. Here at the Center, we’re proud to have been part of this momentous occasion.

Oregon businesses — large and small and new and old alike — thrived after the 1989 legislature raised the minimum wage, and we’re confident that Oregon businesses will do so again after this more modest increase. As the Center has explained to lawmakers, small businesses experienced nearly a decade of uninterrupted growth following the increase that was fully implemented in 1991. The small business sector found a way to adjust to that increase. That 1989 to 1991 increase in the minimum wage was larger than the increase that passed the House today.

Governor Brown and the Oregon Senate should also be congratulated for helping broker the legislation that passed the House today. The Center hopes Governor Brown will swiftly sign the measure into law so the lowest-wage workers will soon have a more economically secure future and will better share in Oregon’s growing economy.