He wants to increase it by nearly $3 an hour. Right now the federal minimum wage is $7.25, but Merkley hopes Congress will pass legislation that would raise it to $10.10. If passed, it would raise Oregon’s minimum wage by a dollar an hour.
Friday afternoon he joined some minimum wage workers and the owner of The Kiva grocery store in Eugene to talk about this bill.
Merkley says this legislation would not only help minimum wage workers, it would also put more money back into the economy.
“We’ve had a big increase in the number of jobs that pay less than $15 an hour while we’ve had a big drop in the jobs that pay over $15 an hour, so we need more living wage jobs,” Merkley said.
One woman who spoke alongside Merkley says she lives paycheck to paycheck and one of the most difficult things to afford is health care.
Merkley says the minimum wage in many states is between $7 and $8 an hour.