Governor signs landmark bill to increase Oregon's minimum wage - KPTV - FOX 12

Governor signs landmark bill to increase Oregon's minimum wage

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown after signing a new minimum wage bill into law on Wednesday. (Image: www.oregonlegislature.gov) Oregon Gov. Kate Brown after signing a new minimum wage bill into law on Wednesday. (Image: www.oregonlegislature.gov)
SALEM, OR (KPTV/AP) -

Gov. Kate Brown has signed a bill that will increase Oregon's minimum wage for all workers to the highest level in the country.

The bill passed the state House earlier this month and the governor signed it into law on Wednesday.

"I'm proud to sign into law my top priority of the 2016 Legislative session - raising the minimum wage," Brown said. "Today we can say Oregonians are truly better off. SB 1532 is a path forward - so working families can catch up, and businesses have time to plan for the increase. That's the Oregon Way."

The bill will increase wages gradually over six years. By 2022, the state's current $9.25 an hour minimum - already one of the highest in the nation - would climb to $14.75 in metro Portland, $13.50 in smaller cities such as Salem and Eugene and $12.50 in rural communities.

Those minimums dethrone Massachusetts - where the statewide rate will climb to $11 an hour next year - from the top spot, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a D.C.-based think tank that tracks wage laws across the nation.

The White House tweeted Wednesday morning, "Good news: Oregon just raised its minimum wage."

President Barack Obama then released an official statement. 

I commend the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown for taking action to raise their state's minimum wage. Since I first called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage in 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have acted on their own. These efforts will boost the paychecks of hardworking Americans and help support millions of workers trying to make ends meet. Today, more than half of our states guarantee their workers a wage higher than the federal minimum. That's progress. But Congress needs to keep up with the rest of the country. They need to act, and finally give America a raise. And until they do, I'll continue to encourage states, cities, counties and companies to act on their own to support hardworking families.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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