Minimum Wage Earners Set for Increase.
Approximately 96-thousand low wage workers in Oregon will be getting a raise next week when the Oregon Minimum Wage increases from $8.80 to $8.95 an hour.
That’s half as much as last year’s increase, and puts Oregon’s minimum second only to Washington state’s $9.04.
It will be the eighth increase since voters approved a measure in 2002 that tied the minimum to increases in the cost of living.
Even with the hike ,it will only provide an additional $300 per year to the income of a full-time minimum wage earner, bringing the gross pay to $18,600… Only about $500 above the federal poverty level for a family of three.
Critics of the law say it hurts small businesses and reduces employment opportunities for younger workers. But, a recent study completed by the Washington D.C. based Economic Policy Institute shows 86-percent of the minimum wage employees in the state are over age 20 and three out of five of those are women.
Dungeness crab season in Oregon and southern Washington starts Monday at 12:01 a.m. after a month-long delay caused by insufficient meat content. The season typically opens Dec. 1, but was pushed back to ensure better quality. Hugh Link, a spokesman for the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, says it was disappointing not to have fresh crab for the holiday, but waiting until they were nice and full was the right thing to do. Though the season doesn’t start until Dec. 31, crabbers can start setting their pots in the ocean this morning 8 a.m. Meanwhile, the Northern California crab fishery has been delayed until Jan. 15.
22 inmates, serving sentences at the Lane County Jail got early Christmas presents this week. They and 46 prisoners awaiting trial were released early because of a lack of capacity. Sergeant Carrie Carver with the Sheriff’s office said the inmates let go Sunday were serving sentences for a variety of crimes, including theft, drug possession, assault and unlawful use of a firearm. Charges against prisoners being held pre-trial included robbery, theft, harassment, delivery of a controlled substance to a juvenile and driving under the influence.
Now that the Christmas traffic coverage period is over, law enforcement officers in Oregon are setting their sights on the New Year holiday. Last year, six people died in four separate traffic crashes during the 78-hour reporting period, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. During the last ten year, an average of five traffic fatalities have occurred in Oregon each year. Saturation patrols are planed from 6 p.m., Friday, December 28, through midnight January First.