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Reps. Foley, Hagan Look to Minimum Wage Increase for Stronger Economy, Stronger Families

Bill would give hardworking Ohioans a much deserved raise
March 27, 2014
Democrat Newsroom

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State Reps. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) introduced legislation—House Bill 502 –today to increase Ohio’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from the current rate of $7.95 per hour. Workers who rely on tips to supplement income would see their wages rise from $3.98 to $5.05 per hour under the proposal.

The Democratic lawmakers say the increase will create a stronger Ohio by putting more money into the pockets of minimum wage workers while providing struggling families with an opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.

“CEO pay has been increasing 127 times faster than employee pay over the last 30 years, and that disparity ultimately hurts our economy,” said Rep. Foley. “Ohio families just can’t get by on such paltry wages anymore. They are increasingly forced to rely on public assistance because they struggle to make ends meet even working two and three jobs.”

It is estimated that the proposed increase in Ohio wages would inject an additional $2.1 billion into the state’s economy and create close to 6,000 new jobs.

“Low-wage workers are older and more educated today than thirty years ago, and our state’s policies have yet to reflect this reality,” said Rep. Hagan. “This is money that will go directly back into our economy, not in some offshore account or overseas investment. Instead of being pushed into public assistance lines, Ohioans who play by the rules deserve a shot at making it in an economy that rewards hard work.”

Reports show that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would have positive outcomes for Ohioans from all different backgrounds; of those who would be affected:

  • 56% are women;
  • 86% are over the age of 20;
  • 60% live in households that make less than $50,000 a year. 50% live in households  that make less than $40,000 a year;
  • 23% of Ohio’s children have at least one parent who would be affected by the increase.

The Ohio Constitution currently sets the minimum wage for non-tipped and tipped workers. The Constitution ties the minimum wage to the cost of living and allows for annual adjustment to the minimum wage each year. House Bill 502 would increase the minimum wage while still allowing for annual adjustments based on the cost of living.