George Noorey

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George Noorey

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BEND, OR -- A bill that would raise the state's minimum wage is moving through the state Legislature. It's a three tier plan that would raise the rate higher in more urban areas, with smaller increases in more rural parts of the state.

 

Deschutes Republicans will host a roundtable discussion on the controversial issue, Tuesday. Scott Ramsay, owner of Sun Mountain Fun Center in Bend, says the legislation would greatly impact businesses like his."These kinds of increases, especially on small business, are just impossible for the economy to absorb. And, what's going to happen is we're going to be forced to reduce hours, reduce staff, reduce services, which effects customers, the employees that rely on us to make a living."

 

Ramsay tells KBND News most of his employees earn above minimum wage already, but the wage hike would still cost him money. "Some of these employees have worked for four or five years to achieve levels. And, suddenly, the state is going to decide that the minimum wage is going to be greater than or equal to what they've spent five years trying to achieve. So, us as business-people understand they are going to expect the same kind of increases. It just ripples back into our expenses."

 
Tuesday's panel discussion on the impact of a higher minimum wage begins at 7 p.m. at the Bend Shilo Inn. Matt Cyrus, of Aspen Lakes Resort, and Sam Carpenter, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and owner of Centratel, are also scheduled to participate in the panel. 

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