Oregon Senators Join Push to Raise National Minimum Wage to $15

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined a group of lawmakers introducing a bill to raise the national minimum wage to $15 by 2024.

Posted: Jan 17, 2019 2:09 PM
Updated: Jan 17, 2019 2:16 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Both of Oregon's elected Senators have signed on in support of a bill that would raise the national minimum wage to $15 per-hour if adopted, according to a statement issued on Thursday.

“There are hardworking Americans who just simply aren’t making enough money to make ends meet. That’s unacceptable,” Wyden said. “Oregon has already blazed a trail by taking concrete steps to lift the minimum wage in our state. Now it’s time for the federal government to take action and ensure a living wage for all Americans.”

The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 would increase the minimum wage to $15 by the year 2024 — granting a wage increase to about 40 million Americans, by the accounting of supporters.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, more than 11 percent of U.S. workers earned ages below the poverty level in 2017, equating to roughly one in every nine workers. The publication regards a poverty-level wage as hourly pay that would leave a full-time, full-year worker below the federal poverty line for their family size if they are the sole earner in the family.

While there are fewer Americans earning poverty-level wages today than just a few decades ago, supporters of the Raise the Wage Act say that the federal minimum wage has failed to keep up with inflation and has less buying power now than it did in the 1960s.

“I live in the same working class neighborhood that I grew up in, and my neighbors are just like the families across Oregon and across America who are struggling to stay afloat on jobs that pay minimum wage,” Merkley said. “We all do better when we all do better, and we can start tackling the destructive opportunity gap that is eating away at our economy by raising the federal minimum wage. Nobody should work full time and live in poverty in America.”

On top of raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over six years, the Raise the Wage Act also promises to pin the federal minimum wage to overall wage growth so that it doesn't stagnate again, and guarantees that tipped workers get paid at least the federal minimum wage — ending the practice of allowing restaurant servers, for example, to be paid less than the minimum with the understanding that they will make up the difference in tips.

Supporters of the bill also say that it will give particular aid to women and workers of color. They also promise a boost to the economy by way of an estimated increase of $2 billion per year as minimum wage workers spend the additional earnings.

The bill was introduced with 181 cosponsors in the House and 31 cosponsors in the Senate.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3559311

Reported Deaths: 51794
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118923221241
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2860772783
Orange2607213982
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1102371777
Kern102627811
Fresno950151422
Sacramento929611464
Alameda802791241
Ventura77395834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55887946
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38872515
San Francisco34138398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano30024164
Merced28915395
Sonoma28004298
Imperial26855589
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15414209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12787185
Shasta10969174
Butte10922160
El Dorado9095100
Napa899869
Sutter884597
San Benito575259
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada394074
Mendocino379643
Amador344841
Humboldt318033
Lake314140
Glenn221923
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 42°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 51°
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 42°
Medford
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 42°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Drying out and warming up
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events