Legislative updates: minimum wage, energy bills move forward

Two Senate-approved bills — minimum wage increases and a coal energy phase out, moved forward in the House.

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The three-tiered minimum wage bill passed committee and moves to the House floor.

If passed into law, the bill carves the state into three regions with three different minimum wages.

The proposal would raise the state’s current $9.25 an hour minimum by 50 cents in metro Portland and a group of counties that include Salem and Eugene starting in July, while the third category of rural counties would see a 25 cent increase. Gradual increases thereafter would take place annually through 2022, when Portland’s rate would be set at $14.75 an hour, other urban counties at $13.50 and rural counties at $12.50.


The House passed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan after bill readings cut debate short.

By the time lawmakers finished reading the 18 pages of House Bill 4036 – a highly controversial proposal that would make sweeping changes to Oregon’s energy policies by eliminating coal power in Oregon by 2030 and double the state’s renewable energy standard by 2040 – the day was wrapping up and lawmakers had limited time for debate.

…House lawmakers ultimately approved that package by a 39-20 vote, sending the proposal to the Senate for further debate.

(READ MORE: Statesman Journal)