Oregon, Portland, USA
The Portland Legislature is making it very clear that we live in the state of Portland, not the state of Oregon.
A current minimum wage proposal of $14.75 for Portland, $13.50 for urban/rural mix counties & $12.50 for RURAL counties has one last hurdle to clear this week, The Oregon House of Representatives. Talk about a state divided.
NOBODY wants this proposal except the people who graduated from Portland State with a Philosophy Degree and are confused about why they cannot make a living. Try getting a degree with an actual job attached to it. Heard it works well.
However, the Portland legislature is cramming this minimum wage proposal down the throats of everyone outside of Portland. They are telling us we will “like it” because it is less bad than the alternative. The alternative is that we are being threatened with two statewide ballot initiatives; $13.50 for entire state or $15 for entire state.
NEWS FLASH: A bad bill is still a bad bill.
The Portland Legislature & the Governor have decided small business and family farms are worth the sacrifice in order to avoid this “threat” and most importantly to please their donors. It is no secret that the unions bankroll the leadership in the Oregon Legislature, they also are the same group backing and pushing the ballot initiatives. Governor Brown received a $100,000 campaign donation from the unions a week before she unveiled her minimum wage proposal.
People from all sides of the state who are opposed to this minimum wage proposal testified, sent emails, showed up and talked face to face with legislators. We told them “This is not workable for small business.” “This is not workable for local food”. “This is not workable for family farmers.” “We are moving to Idaho.” “This is not workable for the foundation of Oregon.”
But they failed to believe us versus Portland.
The Portland legislature all told us this is the only way to “avoid an extreme ballot measure.” They said they understood us and they “are trying to make provisions for small business & farmers.” This way “we can fix it in 2017.” I was specifically told, “I am convinced that if the measure got to the ballot it would pass strongly. I view the choice as one between two bad choices.”
So if you know the ballot initiative is bad and if you know bill in the legislature is bad, then why don’t we fight it all together? How about we use this discussion for a bipartisan effort to educate Oregonians about economics? There are so many opportunities for both sides of the aisle to come together and discuss Oregon’s economic strengths & weaknesses. Let’s talk about what options are available for the legislature to help promote (not mandate) family wage jobs and economic growth in this state.
But Nope. “Screw you Oregon. Portland is the state.”