SALEM, OR -- The state's short Legislative session kicks off Monday in Salem. Lawmakers have 35 days to introduce and pass bills.
Democrats want to increase the minimum wage and affordable housing. House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) says Democrats are just trying to throw more money at the state's problems. "They're going to talk about how the most vulnerable amongst us, 'seniors who need assistance, the disabled and the like, will also be negatively impacted if you don't give them your money.' A 27% increase in state revenues is what they're demanding that Oregonians give them."
He thinks it's going to be a tough month. "It comes down to how they're positioning a 27% growth in state government, which of course, over the last 20 years, it had had record growth already. But, they're doing it by marketing that it's about the kids. They're going to say 'hey, if you don't give us your money, the kids are going to have a bad education system, etc.'"
Last Friday, Governor Kate Brown announced she has changed her proposal to increase the minimum wage. She's calling for a higher minimum of $9.75 an hour starting in July, six month earlier than originally slated. It would then rise to $13.25 by 2022. That proposal still must be approved by the Legislature.