by Shamus Cooke
While Salem politicians prepare for a seemingly uneventful legislative session, Oregon’s low-wage workers are getting crushed by the rising costs of rent, utilities, food, and other basic necessities.
For the over 700,000 people in Oregon employed in low-wage work, the economic insecurity is palpable. But this urgency is absent in Salem, where the once-booming enthusiasm to raise the minimum wage now appears only outside of the capitol building.
A telling example of legislators’ drooping energy is the number of legislative sponsors for a statewide $15 minimum wage. During last year’s session there were 16 co-sponsors of $15 legislation. This year there is zero. Legislators still have time to mirror the reality felt by Oregon’s low-wage workers; but that time is shrinking, since the ‘short session’ begins in February and lasts only five weeks. [Read more…]