Small business owners in Oregon have voiced outrage at senate and house hearings in protest of SB 1532, a bill mandating a tiered minimum wage system across the state.
According to testimony given by actual Oregonians, the minimum wage increase will raise the cost of goods for consumers, make it difficult to hire more workers and threatens to shutter the doors of numerous businesses.
“This enormous increase will force many family farmers to try to find ways to mechanize or transition away from labor-intensive products Oregon is known for, like apples, pears, milk and berries,” the president of the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation, Barry Bushue, told The Associated Press. “Unfortunately, some will give up and sell, while others will simply go out of business.”
Here are just some of the testimonies given before the Senate Committee on Workforce and General Government and the House Committee on Business and Labor by small business owners and others who fear their days could be numbered.
Brandon C. Ensley – Firehouse Subs franchise owner
One woman who’s owned her business for nearly five decades fears the new law will destroy her.
Linda Hickman, Deanna Kinsey – The Cake Lady Shoppe
Barry Bushue – President Oregon Farm Bureau Federation
Brian Weaver – McNary Golf Club general manager
Chris Girard – CEO, Plaid Pantries, Inc. convenience stores
John K. Miller – Courthouse Fitness
Another business owner described the fact the state only provided a day’s notice before the hearing as “ethically corrupt.”
Shaun Hoback – Wild River Brewing & Pizza Co.
Darrell Hames – Sugar Street Bakery & Bistro
Dennis Lewis – Lewis Audio Video, Inc.
Ed McKenney – Gem Equipment, food processing equipment design, manufacture and install
Elizabeth Fettig – Jacs Deli & Frozen Custard
Karl Hughes – Allegra Design Print Marketing / Septimus Corporation
Karen Colburn – K & L Chem-Dry carpet cleaning
Leigh Geschwill – F&B Farms and Nursery
Matt Johnson – Critter Cabana
Phil Olson – Calyx Fruit, LLC blueberry supplier
One dentist said he would move to Idaho if the law took effect, and said many people he knew were also ready to move.
Dr. Benjamin Peterson DDS – dentist
Thursday’s House vote was split evenly along party lines, with the Democrat controlled house winning a 32 to 26 vote against Republicans and two members of their own party.
Despite the polarizing nature of the controversial bill, Democrat Governor Kate Brown has signaled she will soon sign the legislation.