SALEM, OR -- Oregon lawmakers are expected to consider raising the minimum wage in the state this session. Legislation introduced would raise the wage to $15 an hour by 2018.
A new study just released by the Oregon Center for Public Policy refutes the claim raising the minimum wage wold hurt small business. Chuck Sheketoff is the Executive Director of the center. "Higher minimum wage means better worker productivity and that means lower turnover and that's a huge cost for employers and that would mean more toward their bottom line. So productivity gains and reduced costs improve their bottom line."
Democratic State Senator Sara Gelser says it's time to think about people. "We've heard a lot about the business community concerns and during this phone call I'm more concerned about the worker. We're all valid. We all contribute to our economy. And the bottom line is a lot of these people working more than one job are not making enough to meet their basic needs."
Senator Gelser believes this study shows that raising the minimum wage can go hand in hand with strong job growth for small businesses. She says reserachers found higher wages yield higher worker productivity and lower turnover.