05-20-2018  7:36 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

US arrest, raids in Seattle pot probe with China ties

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. authorities have arrested a Seattle woman, conducted raids and seized thousands of marijuana plants in an investigation into what they say is an international black market marijuana operation financed by Chinese money, a newspaper reported Saturday.Authorities are still...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

A royal wedding bridges the Atlantic and breaks old molds

WINDSOR, England (AP) — The son of British royalty and the daughter of middle-class Americans wed Saturday in a service that reflected Prince Harry's royal heritage, Meghan Markle's biracial roots and the pair's shared commitment to putting a more diverse, modern face on the monarchy.British...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reggie Lucas, who worked with Miles Davis and Madonna, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Reggie Lucas, the Grammy-winning musician who played with Miles Davis in the 1970s and produced the bulk of Madonna's debut album, has died. He was 65.The performer's daughter, Lisa Lucas, told The Associated Press that her father died from complications with his heart early...

Broadcast networks go for milk-and-cookies comfort this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — If provocative, psyche-jangling shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" are your taste, head directly to streaming or cable. But if you're feeling the urge for milk-and-cookies comfort, broadcast television wants to help.The upcoming TV season will bring more sitcom nostalgia in the...

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.The Met...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump Jr. met with Mueller witness during campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump Jr. met during the 2016 campaign with a private military contractor and an...

The Latest: Venezuelans line up to vote in Sunday's election

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela (all times local):9:22...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a...

Love and fire: Text of Michael Curry's royal wedding address

WINDSOR, England (AP) — And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and...

Episcopal bishop Curry gives royal wedding an American flair

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Nothing quite captured the trans-Atlantic nature of Saturday's royal wedding as...

Markle's bridal gown work of Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller

LONDON (AP) — Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy is the master British designer behind the sleek silk...

Participants attend a rally for increasing the minimum wage at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, Ore. Jan. 14, 2016. There’s general agreement about increasing Oregon’s minimum wage from the current $9.25 an hour. But there’s discord over how large the increases should be, when they should be implemented, and how much more the hourly wage should be in metropolitan areas with strong economies than in rural areas that are struggling. (Anna Reed/Statesman-Journal via AP, File)
KRISTENA HANSEN, Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — There's general agreement about increasing Oregon's minimum wage from the current $9.25 an hour.

But there's discord over how large the increases should be, when they should be implemented, and whether minimum wages in Oregon's largest metropolitan area with strong economies should be higher than in rural areas that are struggling.

Gov. Kate Brown this week proposed what she called a compromise, but her proposal has so far failed to end bickering. Unless Oregon lawmakers can find a way to appease stakeholders during the legislative session beginning next month, voters may well decide the matter with two ballot measures proposed for November.

minwage 3

An audience member wears a sticker on his back opposing wage increases during a public hearing on proposals to raise the minimum wage at the Oregon Capitol Building in Salem on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. In an effort to stave off two potential ballot measures this fall and put to rest months of aggressive debate with a compromise, Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday proposed a phased, two-tiered hike to the state minimum wage that has the support of the legislature's top two officials. (Gordon Friedman/Statesman-Journal via AP)

Passions are running high over the issue. Lawmakers held the first round of public hearings Thursday at the Capitol in Salem. Community leaders, businesses owners and residents from all over the state came to tell how the proposals would impact them.

A look at the dispute, the players and possible outcomes.

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THE PROPOSALS: A BREAKDOWN

The debate centers on three separate proposals: Two potential ballot initiatives in November led by special interest groups, and Brown's legislative proposal that state lawmakers will consider during next month's legislative session.

__"Oregonians for 15" initiative: The coalition proposes raising the statewide minimum to $15 an hour by 2019. The increase would take place in gradual, annual phases starting in 2017.

__"Raise The Wage" initiative: The coalition wants a $13.50 an hour statewide minimum by 2018, with annual increases also starting next year. Additionally, it would allow local jurisdictions to set their own thresholds above the statewide minimum by removing a pre-emption law.

—Governor's legislative proposal: Brown's plan would increase metro Portland's minimum to $11.79 and the rest of the state to $10.25 at the beginning of next year. In 2022, the numbers jump again to $15.52 in Portland to $13.50 everywhere else.

Under each proposal, wages would be adjusted for inflation after reaching their perspective thresholds, which is the current practice under state law.

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WHAT STARTED THE DEBATE?

Raising the minimum wage has been a national discussion as the economy has recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, the federal minimum remains stagnant and debate around the growing gap between rich and poor has taken center stage. Wage hikes took effect in 14 states Jan. 1, knocking Oregon's minimum from second-highest in the nation to eighth.

In Oregon, the issue largely stems from explosive growth in metro Portland. The city has experienced rapid population growth over the last several years, causing real estate prices to skyrocket and the overall cost of living to jump 8 percent from 2011 to 2014, according to some estimates. By contrast, the rest of the state is mostly rural, lower-income and hasn't seen the growth or cost increases occurring in urban Portland. That divide between the urban and rural areas was largely why Oregon lawmakers failed to solve the minimum wage debate last year. That's when two coalitions backed by labor groups decided to take the issue to voters through ballot initiative in 2016.

But political leaders, small businesses and farmers from the state's rural areas say a comparable wage increase to Portland would impose substantial hardship on their fragile communities and put many out of business or work entirely. Brown's proposal this week aims to find common ground between the labor groups, businesses and rural parts of the state.

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POSSIBLE OUTCOMES

House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney indicated that they'll do whatever it takes to make sure a wage increase bill is passed this session. They declined to say how much their fellow Democrats, who control both chambers, support Brown's proposal, but lawmakers would much prefer solving it at the legislative level rather than at the ballot. But the coalitions behind the ballot measures haven't said for sure what their next step will be, and they've indicated they might still go to voters if they're unhappy with the Legislature's solution.

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