[JURIST] Oregon Governor Kate Brown [official website] signed [press release; remarks] a landmark minimum-wage law [text, PDF] on Wednesday. The law makes Oregon the first state to mandate higher pay in cities than rural areas. The system works according to the specific economic need in a particular region, taking the cost of living of each into account. The minimum wage is set to gradually increase through 2022, with the first increase scheduled for July 1. The law was enacted to help working families earn a reasonable income while allowing businesses time to adapt. Currently Oregon's minimum wage is $9.75. The law will raise rates to $12.50 in sparsely populated areas and up to $14.75 an hour in Portland.
The Oregon legislature approved the law [JURIST report] in February. The comprehensive legislation [press release] was a compromise in consideration of the needs of families working on minimum wage rates as well as the business that will have to increase payments in order to meet the new standards. Oregon and 14 other states [Reuters report] have increased the minimum wage requirement. Massachusetts increased its rate [documents] to $10 per hour on January 1, as did California [text, PDF]. The national minimum wage rate is now over $9.