Oklahoma Lawmakers Looking to Raise State Minimum Wage

News 9 - January 12, 2023 6:37 am

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Lawmakers are considering raising Oklahoma‘s minimum wage for the first time in decades.

The proposed bill would boost the minimum wage to $13 an hour, with 50-cent increases for the next five years.

Reno Hammond, business manager at the Laborer’s International Union of North America, said bringing wages up could help keep more workers in Oklahoma.

“People will chase where the dollars are, and where the better working conditions and benefits are,” Hammond said. “State borders aren’t going to stop that.”

Opponents say raising the minimum wage could cause other prices to increase.

Right now, Oklahoma’s minimum sits at $7.25 which is the current federal rate. The Sooner State has not seen an increase to its minimum wage since 2008 when the wage was increased from $6.55 to the federal minimum of $7.25. Oklahoma is not the only state with a minimum of $7.25. At least 20 other states use this low hourly rate for their minimums including Texas and Kansas. Bureau of labor statistics show that if you made $7.25 an hour in 2008 you would need to make at least $10.20 an hour today to keep up with the cost of living increase.

 

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