State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) recently introduced HB486, legislation to increase the state's minimum wage "in order to give hardworking Ohioans the ability to make ends meet and support their families," they explained in a release.
They went on to note, "According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development, Ohio ranks 34 out of 50 states for the highest number of low-wage occupations, with over 28 percent of all jobs in the Ohio being classified as low-wage. Ohio has had a higher percentage of low-wage jobs than the nation since 2009."
"Raising Ohio's minimum wage would provide a much needed assist to working Ohioans who are struggling to make ends meet. Roughly 23 percent of Ohio children would see one of their parents get a raise if Ohio's minimum wage is increased to $10.10 an hour," said Smith. "Increasing the minimum wage would boost earnings of working families, spur Ohio's economy and create new jobs. By modernizing wages, we let one million working people in our state earn the resources necessary to simply get by - for many this means putting food on their families' table and paying for medicine, child care and school supplies."
Under HB486, the minimum wage would increase from $8.10 per hour to $10.10 per hour, while tipped employees will be paid no less than half the new minimum wage.
"Every Ohioan deserves to earn honest wages for an honest day's work," said Craig. "Too many families are struggling to find the good-paying jobs they lost during the Great Recession, but the Legislature has focused on giving out tax breaks that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Ohioans at the expense of the middle class. Modernizing wages in Ohio will help working families get back up on their feet."
HB486 is a part of a broader economic agenda recently proposed by Democratic lawmakers. In January, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate announced their "Focus on The Future" agenda, an eight-bill package Democrats say will ensure economic stability for the next generation of working people in Ohio.