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Oregon Governor Supports Higher Minimum Wage

Prior to becoming Oregon's governor, Kate Brown was elected as Oregon's secretary of state in 2008 and served in the state legislature for 17 years.
Office of the Governor
Prior to becoming Oregon's governor, Kate Brown was elected as Oregon's secretary of state in 2008 and served in the state legislature for 17 years.

The debate over whether to raise Oregon's minimum wage could be headed to the ballot.

An advocacy group Friday filed paperwork for a possible initiative to appear on next year's statewide ballot. It would raise Oregon's base wage in three steps to reach $15 per hour by 2019.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a similar proposal in Salem but so far haven't acted on it.

Oregon's Democratic Governor, Kate Brown, said Friday that she does support a higher minimum wage, but she said she's unsure about two important details.

"The question is timing, making sure it doesn't harshly impact our currently growing economic recovery,” Brown said. “And the second is the amount."

Brown made her remarks in response to an audience question following her State of the State address Friday in Portland.

Efforts to raise the minimum wage in Washington state ran into legislative roadblocks this year. Activists are promising a ballot initiative in Washington next year, too.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.