Oregon Democrats may have deliberately avoided a mandatory process in their efforts to push a minimum wage increase through the legislature, according to a lawmaker’s statement Thursday.
“The rule has been that any bill that has a $50,000 or more impact goes through the Ways and Means process,” Republican Rep. John Davis told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Here we have a bill that will have an impact of millions of dollars.”
House Speaker Tina Kotek decided to skip the Ways and Means committee in an unprecedented attempt to get the measure passed, Davis told TheDCNF.
The committee is usually tasked with analyzing policies that have a financial impact. For instance, a similar proposal earlier this year was first reviewed by the committee. The committee report warned the proposal could negatively impact low-income individuals and cost the state significantly. The proposal is designed to increase the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 by 2022.
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown unveiled the plan Jan. 14 a week after accepting a $100,000 contribution from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Lawmakers could also potentially be giving themselves a raise since a lot make below the proposed increase.
AFSCME has been an adamant supporter increasing the minimum wage nationally and in the states. The union supports the Raise the Wage Oregon campaign, which advocates for a $13.50 minimum wage. The proposal would also increase the Portland metro area wage floor to $15.52.
The House Business and Labor Committee voted Monday to move the measure to the floor for a general vote. It has already passed the state Senate.
Brown and Kotek did not respond to a request for comment by TheDCNF.
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Cross-posted from: Daily Caller Foundation