SALEM, Ore. — A group of Democratic state lawmakers have drafted a bill that would hike Oregon's statewide minimum wage to $17 by next summer, departing from the current system of yearly adjustments for inflation.
Under current Oregon law, the minimum wage has been increasing slightly each year since 2016 to adjust for inflation — divided into different rates by "Standard" counties, non-urban counties, and the Portland metro area.
At present, the Standard minimum wage — which includes Jackson and Josephine counties — is set at $12 an hour. Non-urban counties are set at $11.60 an hour, which covers Curry, Klamath and Lake counties. The wage within Portland's urban growth boundary stands at $13.25.
House Bill 3351 would depart from the inflation-based, tripartite yearly wage increase structure on July 1 of 2022, raising the statewide minimum wage to $17 on that date. It would also establish a cost of living increase in subsequent years instead of following the current inflation-based model.
If passed, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries would consult the federal Consumer Price Index for the western region in each year after 2022 to determine the cost of living increase.
"If the cost of living has increased, the commissioner shall adjust the wage amount by multiplying the wage amount by the percentage increase determined under this paragraph," the bill reads.
HB 3351 is currently on the Oregon House Speaker's desk awaiting referral.